Journalling for Skeptics

Moleskins, MUJI pens, and a shout out to my therapist.

I’ll be honest, I begrudgingly started journaling because my therapist told me it would help organize my thoughts and help me to better understand what was going on in my mind. She told me to start with gratitude, to write down everything I could think of that I was grateful for, even small things like the smell of coffee in the morning. She also said something along the lines of there being nothing more powerful than self discovery, and that journalling is like a treasure hunt but you’re looking for pieces of yourself on the pages. I rolled my eyes, and went to buy a moleskin.

Tip #1: Find a pen and a journal that you love. Muji .5’s and Moleskin are my personal favourites.
To my surprise, as soon as I began writing I couldn’t stop. The sound of the ocean, the feeling of sun shining on my face, my ability to see, smell, taste, the feeling of being loved, my cat. When I finally stopped writing and started reading what I had written over the past hour, it all made sense. Now had a list I could return to whenever I found myself in a place of stress, sadness, or simply needed to remind myself of how lucky I am.

Tip #2: Start with gratitude. It’ll make starting to journal a lot less awkward, and you’ll have a beautiful list of things that make you happy.
I quickly found myself divulging my deepest fears, darkest secrets, and for the first time in my life I was acknowledging them. Being able to read your thoughts gives you a completely different vantage point of your mind. I’m often in awe of the crazy shit I say to myself. It’s a lot of THAT’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN MY BRAIN?! And so on. Journalling empties the mind, and allows the allocation of your precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Tip #3: Be honest with yourself. There’s no limit, there’s no restriction, it’s just you and your thoughts.
Which can admittedly be terrifying. Your mind plays tricks on you, and for me this was a way to take control of exactly that. It can also be incredibly entertaining to reread old journal entries realizing all of the things that seemed so huge then are actually just part of the process in you becoming more you. And yeah, that guy was an asshole. You get to read your life’s story, see how resilient you are, and that through all of the things that have happened in your life here you are, kicking ass and taking names.

Now I’m definitely not a therapist but here are a few prompts that have helped me:

What does your ideal life look like? Be specific. What does it feel like? Where are you? Who’s
there? What does it smell like? What do you hear?
What are you most afraid of?
What does your relationship with your ego look like?

So there it is, my brief journalling journey. What started as an eye roll completely changed my life.

Words by Chloe Popove, 1/2 of Girls Who Say Fuck.