-By Dana Jean Costantino
It is an oft-said expression “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and whether there is or is not truth to that may never be fully known, but I do have a theory of my own and it involves journaling. Gratitude journals, diaries, daily logs, doodles in notebooks, whatever form it takes, placing a pen or pencil in hand and putting it to paper to set down some thoughts, intentions or feelings has been showing great help in mental clarity, focus and creating calm. It is also a positive way to set goals and get emotions and ideas out and work through them.
We live in an ever increasingly electronic age. Between computers and cell phones and iPads and Smart TVs and Smart Homes, many days, many people never even read an actual book or magazine or write a thought down with a pen or pencil. The idea of taking time away from screens even elicits anxiety in many people. Though the truth in many cases is that more anxiety is produced by the constant attachment to texting and emailing and checking social media and feeling like you are missing out on something if you are not doing so.
By taking even just five minutes a day to step away from all electronics to sit with our thoughts and write them down, we reset. And we need to reset. If we think of it in electronic terms, it is in fact like “rebooting a computer”—we need to take a moment to remember we are human. We are not machines, and we need to connect, not only with ourselves, but with the tangibility of the world around us.
I recently discovered the Lee Hope Gratitude Journal on Amazon and began keeping a log of the Yoga classes that I take as well as writing down daily positive affirmations and ideas for self-improvement. Somehow taking those few minutes each day to do that has created an additional calm for me. I recommend giving it a try. Begin a thirty-day journaling practice of some kind and see how you feel. What have you learned? What have you changed in your life? Do you feel better when you step away from electronics for even a few minutes a day? I bet that if you do this, you will discover something new about yourself and isn’t that a blessing, no matter what age or stage of life we are in, we can always “reboot” and clear the cobwebs. I hope that journaling helps you!
Photo Credit: Dana Jean Costantino