I started around the age of nine, squirreling away my thoughts in one of those diaries with a padlock and key that all girls seen to have had at some point in childhood. I wrote mainly about events of the day, too afraid to commit to paper what was really going on behind the scenes. In my teenage years I drifted away from keeping a journal as I got caught up in the world of boyfriends, A levels and completing my degree. For the whole weekend I wrote pages and pages of poetry based on my experiences and unexpressed feelings and emotions.
I constantly told myself what could go wrong would go wrong. And, I was usually right. When things did go well, I believed that it was luck or someone stepped up to help, or hey, maybe it was Halloween and reality was wearing a mask. The problem was that I was in denial, in denial of what could go right, that things could be positive and that life should be better.
Then something powerful helped change everything for the better! I was at the end of my proverbial rope and I why write a daily journal help. I had struggled so much, for so long and had fallen so low. I was in my late twenties, with so much of my life still ahead of me, but it was being wasted with a perception of myself that was self-defeating.
It was only then that I listened to others and finally sought the help of a professional therapist. The story can be read in my bookbut for this post, I want to talk about one of two assignments he gave me. One was to write a personal account of my life and the other was to start another journal detailing positive things about me and my life.
He instructed me to write in the positive journal every day, regardless of how I felt. But living the life I had it was very difficult for me to see any positives, to somehow be optimistic and so the concept of this journal seemed fake to me.
A loose band-aid, if you will. In reality, the positive journal changed my life. This is what I did: I purchased a regular loose leaf notebook, nothing special. Every night before going to sleep I would write something positive about that day, what I had accomplished and something I looked forward to the next day.
We all have negative, doubtful thoughts, but with me, they ruled and became stronger, louder once I started writing to counter them. Denial can be extremely difficult to overcome, so it was good to see my therapist regularly at the time. I stuck with the journal and discovered that a great many positive things did happen every day.
Most seemed small, but I came to realize that none were insignificant. This assignment also helped me understand something just as important: What a self-fulfilling prophecy is.
When I focused on the negatives, I drew them to me like moths to a flame, but the exact same thing held true for positives. By focusing on positives I attracted them to me by my actions, my body language and finally even with my everyday speech and, of course, where it had started, with my writing.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits was that journal writing reignited a love for writing that I had thought was lost forever. If you are interested, here are a few ideas to get you started: Start out by listing two or three things that happened during your day that were positive.
Reflect on and accept them. Write two or three things you are looking forward to the next day. These are not things that must happen, simply things you are looking forward to.
Try not to pressure yourself. Try to keep this as simple as possible at first, no need to overwhelm. Who knows this may compel you to write your life story as a book, which is what happened with my other assignment.
Try your best to incorporate this positive journal into your daily routine, perhaps at the same time and same place every day. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive!
In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.Journal Writing Every Day: Teachers Say It Really Works! One of the best things about daily journal writing is that it can take so many forms. Teachers can use journal writing to meet specific goals, or the purpose can be wide open.
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