Self-Reflection, Positive Moments and Journaling
By Aksia Funmaker
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.”
By C.S. Lewis.
This is one of my favorite quotes and the one I have written on the inside cover of my journal…
Keeping track of your thoughts and moods can be a very useful tool to deepen your understanding of your mind, which can lead to better self-control when it comes to things like irritation, mood swings, or keeping a level-head in times of stress. Our world has been plunged into chaos as every day there is a change to our daily routine. It’s strange not knowing how things are going to turn out, and feeling less in control of what lies ahead.
Times are changing, and we need to adapt and change with it. With so much going on, and so much conflicting information coming our way, it’s useful to be able to reflect on your day and keep your thoughts focused on the positives.
What is the tone of your thoughts?
One of the best uses for journaling is to write down one or two positive things per day. Taking a moment to reflect can help you appreciate the little things that you might overlook or take for granted. Reflecting on small positive moments, even if it’s as simple as catching the bus and getting your favorite seat, can change your whole mood.
I’ve found that if I write down at least three moments from my day that I’m grateful for, it becomes easier and easier to find positive moments even if I’ve had an otherwise awful day. Small positive moments that we might skim over could be a baby’s laugh, a story being told by an Elder, or even getting your favorite dessert.
If my mind gets stuck on something negative, I have to consciously realize it, take a nice deep breath, push it away, and replace it with a positive thought. I realize this is easier said than done, and as with everything, it takes practice.
Of course, you don’t need to journal only positive thoughts. Sometimes writing down frustrations is one of the healthiest ways to get negative thoughts out of my head. Writing down anything that is making me sad or angry is such a cleansing feeling. I feel a genuine relief when I’m done.
You can also get a lot of organizational benefits from keeping a journal. If you wake up in the morning with no sense of purpose or motivation, it can easily cast a gloom over your day, making you less productive. What I like to do on those days is to make a quick list of things to do: get up, stretch, have a cup of water, read a chapter of a book, then take a shower, maybe have a snack. Even accomplishing something as simple as putting away the dishes, can give a sense that at least one of your daily goals has been achieved. It can give the accomplishment to tick things off the list, and it gets you up and moving. If you have things you need to do that day but don’t know where to start, write down a list of easily achievable goals to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
I keep sticky notes near my desk when I want to remember a positive thought or goal. I write positive thoughts and goals down and place them in my work area. When I see those little affirmations out of the corner of my eye, it sinks in and becomes ingrained.