Life @ U of T

A REFLECTION ON THE PRACTICE OF JOURNALLING

One of my goals for this year was to become more intentional and reflective about my thoughts and my actions. For Christmas, one of my friends gifted me a “One Line a Day Journal” which is what prompted my desire to really make an effort to build a journaling habit. Throughout my life I’ve journaled sporadically, on a special occasion or if I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed by my thoughts and life in general, but it’s never been a consistent practice. Writing one line a day seemed like a really doable way of building journaling into my everyday routine.

I’ve been journaling consistently for about a month now and it’s made such a difference for me. Firstly, it creates a sense of routine because I usually journal right before I go to bed and this is now something I do without having to think about it. I’ve found that writing at this time, at the end of the day, has been particularly effective because it really makes me really stop and reflect on the day I’ve had. I’m much more aware of my moods, my thoughts and my habits because I’m jotting them down.

I’m a big believer in “touching your feelings” and journaling has really helped me develop this practice by encouraging me to be honest with myself about how I am actually doing. This has even benefitted me in other areas of my life. I’m able to function better in my relationships because I’m more in touch with my emotions and so I’m able to manage them more effectively. I also find that it’s helping me be kinder to myself because it keeps me so much more conscious of my mental health and helps me to prioritize this aspect of holistic wellness.

This is my final year and I’m one of those people waiting to receive feedback from grad school programs. I’ve had a lot of anxiety surrounding this, hoping and wondering “what’s next” for me. Journaling has really kept me present and encouraged me to live day by day as opposed to getting sucked into my concerns about the future. I find that I’m a lot less anxious now that I was on January 1st (not to say that I don’t still have my moments, because I definitely do!).

My work at the Multi-Faith Center has really emphasized for me the benefit of being more mindful and the positive impacts of contemplation and journaling is a great way to practice these habits. My own experience is that it has definitely kept me present and more aware of my emotional and mental state and I think that I’ve only benefitted from it. If any of you are considering taking up journaling, I can’t recommend it enough!

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