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#ThoughtfulThursday

I want to journal more.

I love to write, but I tend to have a hard time getting started. Journaling with someone else would motivate me, but in COVID times, it’s hard to do that in person. So I figured, why not ask someone from the internet?

Actually, why not ask everyone from the internet?

Journaling has been proven to help with depression, anxiety, self-awareness, memory, and much more. It’s like yoga for your mind. That’s why I’m introducing the Thoughtful Thursday Challenge, which is a simple set of journaling guidelines that I encourage anyone and everyone to try:

  • Each Thursday, journal for five minutes (or longer, if you want).
  • Write about what you’re thinking and feeling right now, as honestly as possible.
  • Don’t edit as you go – just keep going.
  • No multitasking! Take advantage of this time that’s just for you. 

When you’re done, spend ten seconds noticing how you feel. Relieved? Healthy? Emotional? No matter what you’re experiencing, it’s okay. The point is just to spend five minutes of your week paying attention to what’s happening in your head.

Then, if you’re so inclined, let your social media know that you did this challenge by using #ThoughtfulThursday. Your participation may inspire someone else to join in, or let another writer know they’re not alone. (You never have to share what you write if you don’t want to.)

Each Thursday I’ll share tips and facts about this practice, as well as snippets from my own notebook. When you’re done reading, I encourage you to sit down with your journaling tools of choice and just write. Remember, you’re not doing it alone.

I’ll kick this thing off with a page from my notebook:

“Building momentum is hard.

Whenever I want to write, I stop myself before I even get started. Because what if my writing isn’t revolutionary? What if it doesn’t turn into a long project that makes me famous, beloved, rich, successful, fulfilled? 

What if I just write?

I’m terrified at the possibility. Taking action before I can be sure of the results has always been a major source of anxiety for me. I need structure, and the ability to see my way clear to the end of whatever I start. Otherwise, I can’t start it. So I choke down the urge to create something, for fear that the chaos of just practicing without publishing will kill me.

And everything in me suffers for that. My creative muscles atrophy, my resume withers, and my general sense of dread just proliferates. I feel less than. When I don’t produce, life is just tedium, and waking up feels like a waste of time. 

But I can talk to this journal, and that’s something. My apartment is a little empty, but I do have a desk, and so I’ll use it. I’ll fill in the lines of this book, and if I’m lucky, I’ll do that even when I’m not feeling too motivated.

So, as long as notebooks are cheaper than therapists, I’ll keep filling in these lines.”

 Happy journaling, you guys.

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