Improving Memory, Anxiety, and Stress through Journaling.

(Reading time 5 minutes) This post is about sharing with you why and how I got started journaling.

Improving:  Memory, anxiety, stress, and writing skills

Story:

Journaling was an interesting idea after hearing about it as a good way to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as a way to remember memories and increase writing skills.  Initially, I didn’t enjoy journaling, at all. Mainly because I was forcing myself, before bed, to write down the experiences that had happened that day. It was exhausting.  Then I found a new way to journal. Journaling my thoughts and ideas throughout the day. That was much more interesting to me instead of writing down what had happened that day.

There’s something about how writing down current anxieties that your brain does a releasing effect after, consciously, seeing how these anxieties do not have any concrete evidence behind them. Your brain does a bit of analyzing, logically, and can kind of detect counteractive ideas and thoughts that illicit an emotional response.  So, more or less your brain regards that thought as inconclusive and benign.  Basically there’s no reason to worry about it. This process allows my stress and anxiety to ease away.

There is also a noticing of how I would remember specific events and when they happened. Noticing that, only if I wrote down the experience, when I described the story to someone, the story would parallel what was written in the journal. This showed me that when I consciously write down things that happened to me that these events were much easier to remember and tell to others.

I also attribute my development of writing skills to journaling. When I was younger, I had this fear of writing words down because they would be there forever, but it was because I was a bad writer that I didn’t want people to read my essays, so this counteracts that because I became a better writer and therefore would be less scared of the actual words written.(I hope)  “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

 

This is a quote that I ponder constantly and directly relates to this poast as well.

Image result for bruce lee quotes keep what is useful

With this quote in mind, take with what you will.

Today, I keep my phone and wallet close, but my journal closer. I have a mini composition book right now, but in the past have had varying types of moleskin’s journals.

Solution:

The way that these next immediately implementable processes are laid out are as follows;

[The practice that you can immediately implement]. [The benefits of following the practice].

  1. Write down anything on your mind. That is any thought that is taking space, eliciting emotion, costing energy. This thought, after written down, will lose its power over you.
  2. Keep journal with you as much as possible. Million dollar Ideas come up at the craziest of times and if you don’t write down that idea within 20 seconds of thinking of it, you may lose it forever. (I found it easiest to keep with me all the time, if it is pocket sized. The mini composition book works perfectly for this.)
  3. Start journaling early in the day. This will get your mind on the track that you lay for it.(The prompt that you are writing for in your journal that morning)
  4. Consciously write down your fears and anxieties. This will allow you to see if your anxieties are false, which they usually are.

Extra Credit

Improving:

1. Intention in situations

2. Subconsciously training on specific actions

3. Keeping ideas that were well thought out on my mind for reassessment.

Story:

I began to write weekly reviews for myself, in which I would go back through my journaled thoughts and ideas for that week and give myself a grade based upon a predetermined rubric layout.( A rubric in which I decided on before the week was started.) I have a lot of thoughts on this, and truly believe that this has directly attributed to my creating this blog site, but more on that another time.

I found that reviewing old reviews was a great way to remember old ideas that I still thought were good ideas. I also found that, when I’m grading myself on a rubric laid out for myself, I sort of float toward the scenarios that are going to give me a better grade on the topics covered in the rubric.

The way that these next immediately implementable processes are laid out are as follows;
[The practice that you can immediately implement]. [The benefits of following the practice].
  1. Reviewing past reviews can help you remember old thoughts. These old thoughts might either turn into something you want to research further, or throw away altogether.
  2. Reading back through thoughts from that week.  Can help you have a conversation and extrapolate further that idea that may have arose at some point.
  3. Writing a rough rubric to grade yourself on for that week.  This will train you to take action on the things that you set that rubric’s rules to. (Been very beneficial for me)
  4. Using a different color pen to underline or circle(creating a key for yourself).  So when you review like way later in life, which you will, its much easier to read the highlights.

 

 

Hope these helped y’all out and I wish you all a dang good evening.

-Drew

 

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