This year has been amazing in so many ways!
As we stepped into 2016, I have put myself on a self-development journey. It was not easy and overcoming a deep depression alone is hard. One of the key things I did was that I started journaling again. It has been my passion even before I was able to write when I was little – always fascinated and obsessed with stationery shops. Life happens and during an unfortunate event when my privacy was violated in ways most people can’t even imagine, I stopped journaling and was scared to pick it up for nearly two years.
The breaking point came a year ago before Christmas when I wished I could peacefully journal once again. I took up my pen on January 1st and have been writing and writing every day since. The world of Instagram and Pinterest was hugely inspiring and certainly opened another door when I was looking to get more creative with my journal. The possibilities are endless and I love having the kind of freedom that comes with an empty notebook rather than a pre-set planner.
The weeks and months went by, I started feeling happiness in my heart. If you ever suffered from any kind of depression or anxiety, you know that smiling without pain is hard. Singing? No way. After a few weeks of journaling, I felt like a huge amount of pressure was lifted of my chest and I think it was in April/May when I caught myself singing and laughing out loud with tears rolling down my cheeks as I realised that what I feel… is pure happiness. It was then when I realised, I am free again.
Keeping a journal has a significant impact on my life and I cannot urge enough for you to have one (or two 😉 ) of your own.
So, what have journaling helped me with this year?
- Have faith in myself and my abilities – you must believe in yourself no matter what. Nobody can take away your faith from you!
- Prioritize and do what actually matters – we talked about the magic 3 here
- Improve my relationship – as you write, you analyse. And one of the things I wanted to focus on this year was my relationship which suffered a great deal from temporarily living with my fiancé’s parents – that’s when my privacy was invaded.
- Got me out of depression – writing down EVERYTHING has showed me the picture of my life and how I was living it, not! I keep a mood log (video link) within my dailies and because I did not like seeing negative moods in my journal, I pushed myself to feel better by reading my ‘positive mood words’ spread that I created for this very occasion. I still refer to it in case I need to cheer myself up as I start the day.
- Be confident – very important in every aspect of your life!
- Start living and eating healthy again – I track my weight and lunch/dinner every day to see how each type of food is affecting my body and mood. It is one of my daily habits. This helped in an enormous way when I was having troubles with emotional eating.
- Unlocked my creativity – when I was little (8), an art teacher told me that I should never touch a brush again because I was being creative in my own way and did not follow exactly what she wanted us to paint. I’ve always loved watercolour painting but never realised I am scared to pick up the brush until I wrote it down. It was such a lucky coincidence! I never even thought about this and it just flew out as I was writing. And I’m so glad it did because I am having so much fun now! You don’t need anyone’s permission to do what your heart desires and if there is anything you’d like to try, go for it!
- Public speaking, get over my fear – starting a YouTube channel was one the biggest fears I ever had. I have no trouble speaking in front of hundreds of people but as I sat alone in front of the camera to record my very first video, I was frightened. We share this journaling passion together and as our Community grows, I am happier and happier every day. I could not be more grateful for all the connections and friends I found this year, thanks to journaling!
- Gain clarity and perspective – what you see is what you get. Write it down and it’ll become a reality! Your goals, troubles, happy moments, promotions, celebrations etc. You are painting a picture of your life and shaping your future. Some things are hard to see or admit – you cannot avoid those when you see them on paper, you have to deal with them and that’s how you move forward.
- Enjoy life without waiting for a perfect moment – It’s great to plan for the future, sort out your past, but most importantly, we all need to learn how to live and focus on the present. A great way to start is to do nothing for 5 minutes every day – this ‘nothing’ could be a simple breathing with your eyes closed, meditation, light stretch when you focus on how your body is behaving. Whatever you might choose to do, I recommend you do it with your eyes closed, that’s when you are relaxing. Not sleeping, relaxing 😉
- Take care of myself, stop neglecting my body & mind – this is so easy, isn’t it? Putting everyone first but yourself. When it comes to an emergency, you are always told to take care of yourself (e.g. breathing mask) before helping others. That’s exactly what I’ve done. You have to fill yourself with happiness first before giving it to others. If you’re not having it yourself, how can you give or share it with other people?
- Find new like-minded friends – I reached out to people I admire and whom we’re sharing the same passion or goals with. Sometimes, you need to work really hard to find someone who is the same ‘crazy’ as you are, it takes time and patience. Since I unleashed my journaling addiction, I have found many like-minded people and I am lucky to say that I found my niche at last! I now have some precious relationships which have developed into great friendships during this year and for that, I am completely thankful and my heart is filled with love!
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