– If it is not going to matter in few days or maybe after a month, there is no point in writing it.
There was a time I went to a new cafe with my friends and we ordered onion rings (which weren’t so good). That day as I was writing about my experience and I realised, there is no need to mention that the onion rings were not so good. It won’t hurt after few months or a year to think that the rings were probably good. This also applies to small arguments that we have with friends/family members, try not to write about the small, annoying and negative stuff that should end with the day.
– Write about the good things that happened without a fail.
Yeah. This is what I rigorously follow. I try to write about the good stuff, the things that went well. If my friends surprised me or did something good for me, I make sure to write down how I felt. I do mention the good food I had every day. Most of my entries are – Mom made xyz tasty dish today! And I savoured it. Also good times spent with friends, the compliments I received at work, I do write all of that stuff down. That helps me notice (and remember) the things that went well in the day.
– If I am feeling too much about something, I write it down.
It feels good to express your feelings. Especially when it is something that I can’t share with anyone, then instead of bottling it up, I prefer to write it down. The good thing is that as I write, I start to gain perspective. I remember one day something happened and I wrote – “He always does this.” And then I realised that’s not really true. This was the first time something like that happened. So it made me realise I can’t (and don’t need to) generalise everything. Through writing I also understand what I am exactly feeling and why. I try to ask myself this question – Why? Why do I feel sad? Why do I feel angry? Why am I upset? And I write the first answer that comes up in my mind, to be authentic and also because only I am going to see it, so it’s confidential.
– Even if you feel harsh emotions towards something – Try to remember one rule, you have to be compassionate and kind towards yourself.
There was a time I was feeling very low. During that time, I tried to apply this rule. Even if things are not going well, I chose not to write something that will be hurtful to me. I have also written a self compassion letter to myself. Reading that felt like a soothing balm over my worries and pain. Also when you practice self compassion, it feels easy to accept the situation. You no longer struggle with accepting it which is the first step.
– Check how many times you have done something you love in the past week.
This will help you develop a better understanding with whether or not you are taking care of yourself. This can help you track your behaviour and achieve your goals.
So these are all the things I’ve learnt after journalling for 3 years. Maybe it will be helpful for you as well 🙂