Updated: Jul 24
Did you know that according to certain neurologists we have about 50 000 thoughts a day? Some people's mind might be even busier. That's an awful lot of thoughts to process each day.
The problem with thoughts is that they are constructed stories. Stories in our head our mind is constantly creating but how much of it is real or even beneficial to us? Where they come from? Do the thoughts belong to us, can we control them? How can we rewire negative thoughts to positive ones that make us happy?
According to Napoleon Hill "The most practical of all methods for controlling the mind is the habit of keeping it busy with a definite purpose, backed with definite plan." And that's exactly where well-being journaling comes handy.
Here are some tips how to quieten your noisy mind using the journal:
1. Create a purpose and a plan
What is your purpose on this planet, what makes you happy and how can that help other people? Usually we do get more satisfaction from our actions when other people benefit too. It's is not just about dreaming things up but have a concrete plan in your journal, how are you going to achieve it.
2. Write down in your journal positive things that happened to you recently
This is a back up plan for rainy days when our mind needs a boost and show that things are not as bad as it tries us to believe. Noting in journal our little victories as we go along helps too, together with moments which made us laugh.
3. Create a brain dump
It does not need to be huge section in the journal but getting negative thoughts out of your head, especially before bedtime, improves your sleep and help you regain focus.
4. Show gratitude
Research professor and amazing storyteller Brené Brown in her inspirational Netfix Special TED Talk The Call to Courage mentions that "joyous people are the grateful people". Instead of constructing alarming thoughts about what might happen, be grateful for the good things you have now and write them down in your journal.
5. Observe your thoughts without judgement
This is probably more just in our head exercise, rather then in the journal, as a part of meditation. Take a deep breath in and out and be more picky to what thoughts you pay attention to. Some of them are like balloons floating in the sky, unattainable and will just pass. Some of them even don't belong to us and are reflection of other people attitude, problems or current mood. If you hear the inner critic in your head, distance from it. Ignore it, ridicule it, don't argue with it. The critical voice is not us, it is not who we truly are. So thank it for the concern but move on. You have it covered. Try to sit through negative thoughts without judging, they will pass. Find things you are grateful for instead, write a sentence in your journal, have a conversation with a friend, your mood eventually lightens up again. Don't let any thoughts spoil your day.
The journaling entries don't have to be long, even sentence a day has the power to improve our mood and ultimately our happiness.