# laststation.net

The Power of Journaling

Almost two months since my previous blog post it's clear that I haven't quite delivered on the promise (I made to myself and behind this blog) to write more. At least publicly. However, I did begin writing, albeit privately. I started my journal. Not for a first time in my life. But first time I can say with confidence that I made it part of my day-to-day life.

It all began with me trying to understand why I can't force myself to finish next blog post. Once the initial enthusiasm of starting a blog passed, I become apathetic, scared even, and the vicious circle of negative thoughts started to win. But why? What was the reason I wanted to blog in first place? I created a new note and wrote down different reasons. First two were easy, next two difficult. Up and down. Rinse and repeat. But as I started piecing together each sentence, the overall picture grew clearer.

And that was just the beginning. Two days later, I found myself penning a note about a film I'd watched at the cinema with children. The following day, I used a photo from my walk as a reminder to jot down some thoughts. Subsequent notes covered a mix of topics. And before I knew it, I had a week's worth of journal entries staring back at me. Come June, I made a commitment to keep going and formally embarked on my journaling journey.

There were still many traps along the way. The notion of starting journal - maybe even you can imagine it - comes with a romanticised vision of utilising top-notch stationery and writing tools. or perhaps, researching the optimal digital journaling solution. If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, then you know where this is going—every procrastinator's dream is to discover that one outstanding, universal solution. And yes, I fell into those traps. Yet despite these distractions, I persisted, continually engaging in the process, day after day.

Truth be told, this isn't my first attempt at beginning a journal. Over the years, I've started on numerous occasions, and during at least two of those instances, I managed to keep it up for several weeks. However, I would invariably become either bored or entangled in an endless spiral of existential troubles. But this time around, it was different. I put forth the effort to research methods to maintain my journaling activity and leverage it as a tool for personal growth, rather than merely a glorified brain dump (though there's nothing wrong with that if that works for you). This research led me to the concept of journaling prompts—the seemingly obvious things I could effortlessly suggest for someone else in need of guidance, but which prove to be the most challenging when it comes to myself. And, to my surprise - it works.

Maybe it's too early to judge the outcomes, but there are tangible benefits that I'm already experiencing. Consider, for example, the simple act of asking "how was my day", which encourages to reflect on my day. Interestingly, the way how our minds tend to blur the unimportant episodes that might have initially seemed insurmountable, and in similar manner happy memories that could otherwise rely solely on our brain's limited retention capabilities. Those endless loops I experienced in past were suddenly became crystal clear; couldn't help but begin noting down potential solutions. While they may not have initially seemed realistic, the mere process of wri ting them down had remarkable effects. It's almost as if the act of writing nurtured these potential solutions, rendering them achievable.

As it stands, I can't predict where journaling will ultimately lead me. But I can't deny the power it is giving me.

P.S: And hey, if nothing else, it got me to write another blog post! :)