Do you ever feel like it's hard to quiet your mind from all the racing and jumping around from topic to topic? Maybe you have a demanding job and find it hard to fall asleep with a checklist in your brain of the things you need to do. Or, maybe you're working on a creative project and ideas keep popping up that'll keep you up throughout the night.
Before we get into how to use journaling to quiet your mind, let's first cover a few reasons why I feel we think so much in the first place:
1) We're worried that we'll forget
This might sound obvious, but I think it's important to point out because we forget that there's a simple way to remember things without keeping the information inside our brains.
We can remember things even if it's outside of our brains (hence, the journaling we'll talk about, below!).
2) We feel a responsibility to remember
This is a play off of #1, but of more significance.
If you're in a job that has a lot of moving parts that you have to remember - be it a sequence of events happening, an itinerary you have to go through, or anything that's going to enhance the performance of your job, then you feel like all of the details rest on your shoulders.
I feel that when we're in demanding jobs, we feel like we're not allowed to slack off or leave out small details, so we put it upon ourselves to keep everything stored in our minds. And sometimes, like a hard-drive, the disc can get too full.
3) We care.
If you work in an industry where you're responsible for making someone else's dreams come true (ie designing something for a client, planning a big event, showcasing their awesomeness...etc.), then you're probably the kind of person who feels like the success of the project is more important to you than it could be even to the client!
And that means that you care about every little detail. You care that the outcome that you envision in your mind will play out according to plan.
For me, when I feel like my schedule or creativity is crazier than usual, I love to keep a notebook handy for journaling.
Side note: I'm actually not really a journaling fanatic. I know some women love to journal on a daily basis and have themes to follow every day. And I like the idea of that, but it's never been important to me enough to do it on a daily basis. I find journaling to be more of a necessary tool at times as opposed to an enjoyable hobby.
So if I can find journaling to be helpful for something, then it's definitely going to help you no matter how much you're into the idea!
Here are 3 ways to use journaling to quiet your mind:
Our brains are like hard drives with limited space. Journals are like the cloud.
Your brain can get overloaded to the point where you don't perform anything to the best of your abilities. Like a computer running on low memory, you start moving much slower - your pace becomes sluggish.
Using a journal to transfer that data into a space that you can reference at any time is the perfect way to keep your performance level high and your mind, clear.
1) Brain Dump
Before you go to bed, write out everything on your mind. It doesn't have to be coherent, you're not going to be graded on it, and no one is going to see this but you. Even if it's a string of gibberish, go for it!
By using your journal as a place for a brain dump, you're going to have an easier time falling asleep at night without your thoughts keeping you up.
If you're the kind of person who thinks of all of the things you have to do the next day and are afraid you're going to forget one little (but significant) chore, then a checklist is your friend.
I like to title mine, "Don't forget!". Just start writing down all the things that pop into your mind that you have to do, and you'll suddenly feel relief when you realize that you can go to sleep without worrying about forgetting anything.
The next morning when you look at your checklist, you can sync those chores to your schedule so that everything will get done. #winning
3) Write 5 reasons why you're awesome
This might sound off-topic when it comes to quieting our minds from information overload.
But, the biggest reason why people look for ways to quiet their mind in the first place is because of anxiety and worry. And if you're feeling anxious about something, you're likely to start questioning your own ability to handle all of your responsibilities, and your mind can turn into a chaotic space full of depression. Not cool!
So, if you're feeling anxious about something happening the next day, take a minute to write down why you're the perfect person for the job, why you will succeed, and other reasons why you'll get through this no matter what.
This simple task can help you fall asleep with a smile on your face. What a great way to end the day!
So remember: a journal is a tool for you to go from storing too much information in your brain's hard drive, to freeing up space by transferring that info into a cloud. Cool stuff!
What about you, are you a fan of journaling? Leave a comment!