#2 Most best-est daily personal growth activity
You can do it alone. And you save tons on therapy.
Keep a diary.
It’s something I request that all my clients do.
I grew up Mormon. And say what you will about Mormons, but they encourage journaling. So I did. Thousands of pages from the age of 14. Not only did it help me improve my writing skills dramatically, (my 9th grade English teacher accused me of plagiarizing Alistair Cooke), but keeping a journal helped me deal emotionally with some of the crazymaking in my family. Once I was older, it allowed me to see unhealthy patterns I was living. Once I saw them, I could let them go.
Why else is keeping a journal or diary helpful?
Writing down the day’s events forces you to slow down. It forces you to take time out that you wouldn’t normally take. Not to ‘do’. But to ‘look at doing’. We keep busy. Watching and interacting with a big wide world and lots of people, digitally and otherwise.
What don’t we look at?
Ourselves. Writing about our feelings and experiences allows us to turn the camera inward and see the one thing we usually ignore the most: us.
Doing that makes us more conscious about what happened and our reaction to it.
While writing, we may be triggered, but we are not in the events. So we can more easily (if imperfectly) step outside ourselves and evaluate what really happened.
Does our reaction to the event seem too big? Too small? What would I think and feel if someone else told me the story I am writing?
And what if something is not happening we want?
Sometimes we are not acting because of fears we don’t even realize we have. Writing about our so-called ‘laziness and procrastination’ helps us empathize with the parts of ourselves that have fear about taking action. Taking that extra step back helps us drop our judgement and, if necessary, to ask for more help if we need.
And, even scientists agree: