Wednesday morning at 8:15. If you don’t leave in five minutes you’ll be delayed by neighborhood school buses, which means barely dropping off your preschooler on time and a hasty arrival to your one year old’s doctor appointment.
Teeth are not brushed, hands are covered in oatmeal, and that shoe that was just by the door is nowhere to be found. The three-year-old is crying while simultaneously pulling her school bag onto her shoulder and trying to open the garage door (with her sticky hands).
A lot of parents could be at risk for losing their cool.
But not you, not today.
Today was a day that you woke up just a few minutes earlier then usual, flipped on the bedroom lamp, and wrote in your journal for fifteen precious minutes of peace and quiet before you did anything else. Just you (maybe a snoozing spouse), the sound of the pen moving across the page, and a safe dumping ground for every thought that was floating around in your head.
You were able to take a few minutes to center yourself, to reflect on what’s important, and greet the day calmly.
So, instead of losing your cool over unbrushed teeth and the possibility of being late, you quickly realize the missing shoe is probably back in the shoe bin (the one year old loves putting things back where they go), the tears are just a reflection of the three year olds frustration and eagerness (she literally runs into the classroom each time she gets to school) and the sticky hands can be cleaned off before she gets out of the car (that’s why the extra wipes are in the glove box in the first place).
Journal writing is a powerful process that works in a lot of ways like meditation. Meditation focuses your energy inward and helps you approach life from a place of calm productivity. Journal writing can result in many of the same benefits; it just uses a different process.
When we journal we let our thoughts flow across the page, and give those thoughts a safe place to be stored. We create an experience that calms our spirit, focuses our attention, and sets us up for easily being able to call on effective coping techniques throughout the day.
Once journal writing becomes a habit, it’s easy to tap into the feeling we had during our early morning fifteen minutes of quiet time. It starts to stick with us throughout the day and we are not so quickly rattled. Just like a weight-lifting workout will help you burn calories for the next 24 hours, time alone with your journal sets you up for a day of mental clarity, making a shift from chaos to comfort.
Are you already a journal writer? How does it benefit you in your everyday life? Leave a comment to share below and check out next week’s article for tips on starting your journaling practice.