When you think of journaling, you may think of being a middle school girl writing in her diary. And while you aren’t (probably) going to be flopped on your stomach, using a pink fuzzy pen, and writing about your crush or your frienemy, there will be some similarities. You were onto something if you kept a journal as a kid. Journaling is very good for us. It isn’t just for keeping secrets, maintaining mystique, or being dramatic. It isn’t just for venting our anger about a family member (though it can definitely be for that). The mind is a funny thing, and our control over it is even funnier. If you have all your faculties about you, then you should mostly have control over your mind. But, it can still play tricks on you. You can get distracted, and only notice certain things happening in your brain, but not others. You can delude yourself. You can make things up—for better or for worse. Even though your brain is yours and just yours, your conscious and subconscious mind do not always work in tandem. So there’s even some separation of power there.
The way we start our day will in many ways dictate how our entire day goes. You probably already have certain morning habits that you know pay dividends throughout the rest of the day. You’ve likely also become aware of morning habits that can be bad for the rest of your day. It may seem like no big deal—it’s just a 30 or 45-minute period of your day—but your mind is still so malleable in the morning, that what happens then can set the tone for the next 24 hours. Free writing can and should be a part of your morning routine. It’s not just putting pen to paper. It does so much more.
You’ll find what’s bothering you
You may not realize how much something has been bothering you, until you see just how much you’ve been writing about it. You may find that an entire writing session—or several writing sessions—is dedicated to the way a friend has been treating you. When you see it on paper like that, there is no more denying that you have been affected by this issue, and it’s time to do something about it.