Writing is a powerful tool in creating a better self-image. Keeping a daily journal is an easy, inexpensive method for learning about you and how you feel about your body.
Don’t worry about going out and purchasing the “perfect” journal and just the right pen. Looking for the “correct” tools is simply a way of procrastinating about getting started. I tell you this from my own experience! Grab an inexpensive spiral notebook and a cheap pen if that is all you have available. Don’t let the lack of an “official journal” be your excuse not to start.
Set aside 20 minutes per day to write. Some people like to start their day with journaling. They feel it clears their mind and sets them up to begin the day fresh and focused. Others prefer to review their day before they go to sleep. Chronicling the day’s triumphs, challenges and events. They feel that letting go of the day by writing helps them to sleep better and allows their subconscious to work on any lingering issues while they sleep. Some people do both. Experiment with what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to journal.
Which brings us to the next point. There are no grammar / spelling / syntax or dangling participle police coming to check up on your journal. There are no thoughts to weird or wrong to write down. The whole purpose of doing this is to free write. Write whatever comes into your head. No critics allowed! In fact it is often suggested that you don’t even go back and read what you have written for at least a week.
Great, you have the journal and you have been writing in it daily, so what benefits can you expect?
Less stress. When you have conflicts in life they seem huge when we think about them. We replay situations in our minds and each time they seem just a bit worse than the time before. The anger builds and emotions become more intense. Writing the situation down helps to defuse the emotions. We can look at whatever it is with an objective eye. Even if it is as simple as being overwhelmed by having too much to do, writing it down takes away it’s power.
Starting to see yourself realistically. You may write on Monday how you hate that you have to go to a party that night because you know everyone is going to see how much weight you have gained. Rereading the entry a couple of weeks later you realize that once you got to the party, you never even thought about how you looked, you were simply having too much fun. After keeping your journal for a few months, you may notice that you continue to have the same situation happening over and over again. Noticing this pattern, and the circumstances that set the situation off, allows you to decide if you are the problem or if you are allowing the problem to continue. Remember you can’t fix something you are not aware of.
It becomes a great motivator. Looking back over a few months worth of journal entries will allow you to see all of the obstacles you have overcome. Things that you thought were impossible to change have changed. Sometimes, if things haven’t changed, it can motivate you to really start focusing. After all how many times can you complain about something before taking action?
Use your journal to get to know yourself better, solve problems, reduce stress and simply as a way of chronicling your life. You will gain self-confidence in your abilities to face life head on and realize how wonderful you truly are.