Journaling is the habit of keeping a diary or log
about our experiences, ideas, insights
and anything else that life evokes in our minds.
The Stoics have a long standing tradition in journaling,
with Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations as clearest evidence.
Writing our thoughts down has several benefits
which I’ll explore in this video.
The Power of Journaling
First of all, thank you High Light Healing and Joel for your generous PayPal donations.
首先 感谢High Light Healing与Joel通过PayPal的慷慨捐赠
And thank you Fernando, Tisha and Garrett for generously supporting me on Patreon.
I appreciate it, guys!
Also, I’d like to thank José for adding Portuguese subtitles to some of my videos
which is now possible if you want to make this content understandable for non-English speaking audiences.
Now, let’s dive in.
Marcus Aurelius never meant to publish his diaries.
This makes it more plausible
that the contents of his Meditations are his honest thoughts about a variety of topics.
I couldn imagine
that because a man in the position of emperor and the most powerful person in the world
didn’t have any equals to talk to
and, therefore, resorted to pen and paper as an outlet
But it could also be that Marcus knew very well
about the psychological effects that journaling brings.
Anyhow his writings have provided humanity with profound wisdom to this day
总之 他的著作对于人性有着深刻见解 影响至今
and thus we could say that by journaling he built his own personal bible
因此 可以说 通过写日记他创建了自己个人的圣经
which proved to be invaluable for many generations after him.
This brings me to the first benefit of journaling.
(1) Preserving personal life lessons.
It’s great to have access to other people’s experiences and learn about life
by reading books or watching YouTube videos.
But there’s nothing like our own individual experiences.
Every person is unique and so is every situation.
And I believe that the only person we should compare ourselves with
when it comes to personal growth is our own past self.
By keeping track of our personal life lessons
we will know where and when,excatly,things went wrong and things went right.
Why is this important?
Many people make the same mistakes over and over again
and just never seem to learn.
By having certainly moments in writing
it’s easier to remember what we usually forget
so we can make wiser decisions in the present and future.
(2) Illuminating what’s in the dark
For those who has seen my video about “the shadow”
probably knows what I m talking about
In Jungian psychology , the shadow is the realm in the unconscious
that harbours unwanted personality aspects, thoughts and desires.
Because we all wear a mask
to show ourselves to society in a desirable manner,
everything that’s undesirable is kicked down into the shadow.
What’s so dangerous about this is that
the shadow can manifest itself in very destructive ways.
Journaling is a way to make sense of our own shadow behaviors
and keep track of when they emerge and what they look like
By doing this, we shine a light on our unconscious inner world
and bit by bit
we basically journal ourselves into our souls.
(3) Strengthening discipline
Keeping a journal everyday is a discipline on its own
That’s why it’s hard to stick to it.
But, when we manage to write a journal every day
this affects other areas in life as well.
Discipline is contagious.
When I do something in a disciplined way, like exercise,
I will automatically become more disciplined in regards to my nutrition and sleep
and let go of bad habits that obstruct the good ones.
The effect of journaling is similar
because I journal about my activities
I’m more inclined to actually do these activities.
For example one of my key habits in regard to this channel
例如 针对这个频道 我有个重要习惯
is that I write down my daily goals on the night before.
Even if it’s just one simple goal like ‘writing a video script’.
This helps me to stay disciplined the next day
because it’s clear what I have to do
and the burden of the future limits itself to that task alone.
This not only strengthens discipline but reduces anxiety as well.
(4) Reduce anxiety.
Writing down your thoughts brings relief.
Life can be very chaotic and food for destructive overthinking.
Thinking – especially overthinking – is what causes anxiety.
思虑 尤其过度思虑 是焦虑产生的根源
Psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker from the University of Texas
journaling removes emotional blockages
and allows us to better grasp what’s going on
and helps us to come to terms with stressful events.
Simply put: journaling creates order out of chaos.
In a way, it’s like cleaning a room.
We take all the mess and put everything in perfect order,
remove the dust and make sure it looks good
With journaling, we take the mess of our mind,
put it into words and remove the nonsense.
This way, we basically loose our thoughts on paper,
saved for future consultation.
We don’t have to hold on to them anymore, which is
a soothing idea.
After sharing these benefits with you,
here are some words of caution though.
In an article on Psychology Today
Dr. Steven Stosny writes that journaling,
when done wrong,
can have negative effects on the mind as well.
Journaling can make people self-obsessed, passive towards life
meaning: observing instead of taking action wallowing in the past
going on and on about all the bad things that have happened to them.
His advice on good journaling is, in a nutshell,
Doing it constructively, so it leads to solutions.
So, that’s it for today!
If you have experienced other benefits of journaling,
please post them in the comment section.
Thank you for watching.
Journaling is the habit of keeping a diary or log