Do you experience anxiety or depression waves often? When I experience the same, I either turn to my Kindle or my journal. Since I shifted to digital journaling, it helped me cope better and organize my life too. I use it as my planner and here I share how journaling helps me cope when I face breakdowns and breakthroughs.
Why digital journaling?
Now, this is something that I aimed to do for years. I love paper and pen and all the traditional writing materials. I practice calligraphy and tried it both traditionally and digitally however, my hand still loves handwritten notes. Nevertheless, shifting to digital journaling allowed me to create various templates and easily revise my entries without worrying about consuming too much paper. This way, I saw it as an opportunity to be mindful of my purchases and to care more about the environment.
Right now, our beloved plant is in critical danger. We need to do whatever we can to save it. Else, our children and even grandchildren won’t see the light of day and experience life like how we did.
I saw digital journaling as something new and challenging at first. Choosing the right platform challenged me in so many ways. I wanted an app or tool that let me write through my PC and my phone. Since I’m no longer an Apple person, I searched tirelessly for apps that are compatible with both Windows and Android. Et voila! I found Microsoft OneNote. It helped me create and organize my journals, notes, and planner with ease. I no longer need to worry about erasures or losing my pen.
Now, digital journaling paved the way for me to express my thoughts whenever and wherever I am. Since I bring my mobile almost anywhere I go, it made it easier for me to take notes through the app. Along with my S-pen, creating random scribbles and notes makes it more fun and peaceful!
Now, let’s go to the real question.
How journaling helps me cope?
One of the best things about journaling, it helps me transform my most sordid thoughts into something good. It gives me power over my struggles and internal monsters that I’m able to vanquish altogether. When the waves hit you, it makes you feel so small that you won’t survive after. However, when you find an outlet, in this case, journaling, it helps you process all the thoughts inside. Soon after, it alleviates how you feel, and sometimes, you’ll feel a warm embrace.
Now, according to a study, people who are diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) tend to be more creative when they express themselves in writing. It also decreases depression scores. Now, it’s a wonder, right?
When I write in my digital journal, I feel that I’m going into a safe space where I could feel everything without any judgment at all. It welcomes me and lets my thoughts freely flow without the need to organize or sort them accordingly. Not only that, but it also lets me process my thoughts and express them creatively. Some of those thoughts are what you see and read on this blog.
Journaling helps me understand myself more
As I mentioned previously, journaling helps me process my thoughts. It helps me understand on a deeper note how and why I felt that way. Moreover, it helps me think about how to act on those thoughts the next time they visit me. I feel more empowered when I get to write down my most unfiltered thoughts and stop ruminating on them in my mind.
Before I started journaling, I always end up losing sleep because I always think of it. Call it overthinking but for someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, it’s something deeper still. For someone like me, I replay scenarios in my head for days and it disrupts me from working or doing the things that I used to enjoy. Those thoughts cripple me and prevent me from functioning like a human being.
So, when my psych told me to track my mood and even my meds, I took the liberty of journaling. It started with just three things that I’m grateful for the day and slowly it blossomed into sharing my thoughts, ideas, and even what transpired during the day.
Journaling helps me unleash my creativity
Before journaling, I practiced calligraphy and even did photography for a while. I did not become a professional in those two paths but they stayed as hobbies in my life. Whenever I feel like it, I would pick up my pen and paper journal (or art journal) and would write random poems or even names as practice. However, when my mental health declined and I got diagnosed, I struggled with picking up any creative tools like I used to. It felt overwhelming and tiring at the same time.
Whenever I journal, I feel that I go to a certain universe where everything calms me down. If I feel I’m on the verge of a breakdown, writing down those thoughts helps me exhale the ill ideas and just breathe in a certain breath of tranquility. It gives me a recharging experience that helps me conquer the coming days.
Journaling empowers me
Last but not the least, journaling empowers me to be a better person. With it, I feel like I conquer all the inner demons that keep on pulling me down from achieving the best version of myself. While most of my thoughts tend to bring me down most of the time or make me doubt my skills and achievements, when I write them down, it makes me beat them. Consequently, it serves as a reminder for myself when things get tough.
On another note, my journal also serves as a reminder of my progress. I smile and look back at how strong I became despite many things. With my journal, it helps me to be strong and also empower other people who doubt themselves.
Now, if you are curious about journaling, I truly suggest you give it a shot. Then, I hope it becomes one of your habits. Then after a while, look at your entries. See how you bloomed into the person that you are.
Now, what’s next?
As this blog post comes to an end, I urge you to look inwards and see if journaling could be your thing. This would greatly help you when you want to see your progress and how you felt throughout the day. Start by listing down three things that you’re grateful for and see how it blooms.
Feel free to modify your journal into what you feel should be there. Never be restricted in a box by following the other journals that you see on the internet or wherever you may be. The power is in you. Harness it, soon you’ll be indestructible. 😉