Keeping a diary is a great way to capture and better understand your own thoughts. If you think you don’t have time to keep notes, or if you don’t know what to write about, use these tips.
Keeping a diary is one of those tips that seem too simple to really work. But often it is just simple things that most affect our lives.
Keeping a diary, you can:
- Get rid of daily anxiety.
- Identify the main triggers of your anxious thoughts.
- Facilitate difficult decision making.
- To develop creative abilities.
- Release the past.
Keeping a diary helps strengthen psychological resilience
Sean Achor, the world-famous psychologist and author of the bestselling book “The Advantage of Happiness,” said in one interview that the ability to “endure” is not the main thing for the development of psychological stability. On the contrary, it is more important to relieve tension daily and disconnect from everything.
And keeping a diary just helps. Writing your thoughts on paper, you can get rid of them and study more carefully. Looking through records for the year, you will begin to better understand yourself, learn to focus and worry less.
1. Concentration and purification of consciousness
Only fully aware of our thoughts can we change them.
Every morning we wake up with a swarm of thoughts and ideas in our heads. We think about what needs to be done today and what we did yesterday. In order not to go crazy, you need to redirect energy to another channel and throw out all this stream of thoughts outside. The diary is perfect.
Write on plain paper
Keeping notes on a computer or phone is a more passive and emotionally detached way. Of course, keeping a diary like this is faster. Only speed and volume are not the goal to strive for when starting a diary. The main thing here is introspection and clarity of thoughts.
Keeping an electronic diary can be imagined as traveling by plane. You will reach your destination faster (a certain number of words), but in the process you will not notice the surrounding landscape at all (your thoughts and ideas).
Find what is right for you
The most important thing when you are just starting to keep a diary is to find the approach that works best for you. There are many different techniques, all of which promise to change your world. If any one approach does not help you, do not despair and do not throw the diary. Try something else, otherwise you will never see positive results.
And do not judge yourself too harshly. Do not try to write seven days a week. Start small - with one sentence.
Here are some more tips to help you get started writing in your diary:
- Think of only one day.
- Prepare a pen and notebook in advance.
- Get up 10 minutes earlier than usual (if you write in the morning).
- Write down one sentence. Do not worry about the content, write everything that comes to mind.
- Try to repeat the same thing tomorrow.
One fear that you will overcome today
To get rid of anxiety, you need to try every day to face some kind of fear. This, of course, does not mean that you need to jump out of the plane daily or quit your job. We all have hundreds of small concerns that we try not to think about. Start small and repeat day after day. After some time, you will learn to control your fear and direct it in a positive direction.
- What would I do today if in six months I needed to achieve my goals for five years?
- Why do I always want to tell everyone that I'm busy?
- Who would I like to excel at work and in life? What are their views and values?
You do not have to adhere to any framework, just write down the stream of consciousness.
Where to start keeping a personal diary?
With desire. If a girl or girl wants to keep her own diary just because all the girls have it in a class or university group, then this will immediately become a disastrous idea: the process of communicating with a paper friend will end on exactly the second page, when a passion for fashion trends suddenly flares up will subside. In the world of modern technologies, gadgets and social networks, the question will not be amiss - what is it for, what a personal diary looks like and what should be in it: if the answers to these seemingly simple questions are not found, the idea of a diary should be postponed for a while.
When deciding to keep a personal diary, think about the goal - what will it become for you and what is its meaning?
The most obvious goal of introducing a diary into personal life is communication: a thin or thick notebook or notebook will become the most understanding and trusting interlocutor that is lacking in social and public life. Another group of the female population will define keeping a diary as an opportunity to capture the emotions of visiting interesting places, memories of significant events and impressions of meeting interesting people. And the third ones will keep a diary at all for introspection of their own actions, revision of the actions taken, reassessment of themselves and their mistakes, reflection on successes. Everyone has his own goal - it is important to realize it, and then the personal diary will become a true masterpiece, and not a routine writing.
What will become a diary?
We will not begin to consider in detail the option of an electronic diary: such popular blogs today are also a statement of their own thoughts and a description of events, but not intended for domestic use, but to world wide public readings. But just like with all modern gadgets, a significant mass of reading enthusiasts prefer books in the classical version rather than in audio or electronic, the same is the case with personal diaries.
Diary - a mirror of the human soul
The beginning of an electronic personal diary of a teenager on a computer or on a site can be laid by some interesting or, conversely, dramatic event, a meeting with old friends or a trip. Electronic diary on a personal computer it has its own advantages (a strong password, beautiful graphics for design, the ability to make an unlimited number of copies), but the diaries in paper form give a special atmosphere, romance to the process of communication with oneself and something nostalgic vintage, but what kind of notebook should they be? for diaries to make life? And this is also a personal matter for everyone:
one will be convenient to write on separate sheets of paperthat are always at hand, combining them as you write in a folder with rings or organizers of paper materials of other options,
others seem comfortable ordinary 18-sheet school notebooks or notebooksthat you can put in your purse - they won’t take up much space and weigh almost nothing,
the third will approach the matter monumentally, starting thick barn book or diary for lengthy texts: descendants will undoubtedly appreciate the painstaking great-grandmother’s work, which tells about the super-duper Seventh iPhone and the release of the next episode of Star Wars in the movie box office.
Keeping, recordings and pictures for a personal diary - style, design, sizes of inscriptions and drawings also play a role. When deciding what a personal diary will be, one should not be guided solely by an attractive external cover: first of all, its owner should think about the comfort of making entries in it. And what is needed for the design of the first page of ld - this will already be decided in the process of working with it.
How long does it take to keep a diary?
How to start keeping and arranging a beautiful personal diary - the rules, as such, do not exist. As well as some kind of official or generally accepted timing to fill it out. If you do not turn a pleasant activity into a daily many-hour recording of each step, then not much time is needed to keep a diary. You should not treat the diary as a work: entries in it can be done hastily or thoroughly, but in any case, if there is a desire and inspiration.
It is no coincidence that the diary can be used as a planner for future affairs: it will show how much time does the mistress spend in vain. Nothing to write about the last day, a couple of days, a week? - it makes sense to think: maybe time was wasted? Such information will give impetus to universal mobilization and decisive action within one person.
Each girl or woman determines the appropriate diary mode: daily, weekly or situational
“When I want, then I write” - The correct answer to the question of how often to make entries in the diary. Obligations will destroy trusting relationships with such a friend, and musing out each line will not give either positive emotions or a pleasant result.
Another point that the housewives of the diaries do not think about: re-read records from time to time and is desirable and necessary - it will refresh the events and allow you to track how your thinking and assessment of situations and actions of people change. Over time, we change not only ourselves, but also our perception of the same dynamic, not worth a second surrounding world: such an analysis is useful and determines the degree of personality growth.
How to keep a personal diary
Correct in this case - a synonym for "how convenient." You need to relax, to be alone with yourself, your thoughts, a pen or pencil (as you prefer) and a diary. You can not comb your hair and do not use makeup, now you are nature itself. Those who have problems with the Russian language should not think about the rules of spelling and punctuation - write freely, even with errors.
For each entry, put the day, month, year - everything is forgotten over time, but the chronology will return to the exact event moment
When expressing negative emotions, caution will not hurt: on the one hand, why then do you need a diary if you don’t pour everything on your pages ?, on the other hand, you should not exclude the possibility of reading it by another person. And in most cases, it will be a bomb. Atomic.
How to sign and correctly draw up a personal diary: tips and ideas
For adults, busy and working people, maybe the design of the diary is not so important - most likely, they would stop at an expensive diary with a dense stylish cover and elegant pages. But how to start and fill out the pages inside the wish list for a girl or teenager? Surely young ladies want something enchanting, sparkling and joyful - Styles, ideas and photos of filling out a personal diary or diary can be viewed on Internet blogs, the social network of Pinterest pictures and similar resources. Or just come up with something of your own.
In general diary design depends on:
own desires and ideological vision of a new “friend”,
creative skills (calligraphic emphasis, drawing skills),
available free time, which, without prejudice to study, work or family, can be spent on making entries.
Thematic pages and stories - A super idea, everything will be used here: from scrapbooking to stickers and Chinese calligraphy. For a trip to the sea, the page can be painted in soft blue watercolors, pearl beads and decorative colored sand can be added, the “forest page” can be perfumed with eau de toilette with a woody aroma and decorated with pine or spruce needles - room for imagination.
Many at the beginning of the journey think how to arrange the last page creative diary: perhaps someone is looking at the idea of a stylized door to the future, their own poem, or simply beautifully executed inscription "To be continued ..."
There are no special rules in the design either - it is only important that the owner liked the diary. For young girls who have free time, magazine clippings and scrapbooking elements, materials for applications, a set of colored gel pens and felt-tip pens, text markers, glue stick, self-adhesive rhinestones, decorative ribbons and paper, etc. are useful. Favorite girls pictures are recognized by cute cats, mimic bears, flower butterflies and angels.
How to make interesting and what to write about in a personal diary for a girl, girl or woman
So what write in a diarybesides a chronological documentary description of memorable events and incidents? For young girls, cartoons or books viewed may be relevant, young girls will want to share love secrets with paper, women will draw up recipes, tips for caring for children and home, and personal experiences. What you can do, write down and draw in your personal diary, the list does not pretend to be complete: a personal diary and a personal one so that everyone wrote in it whatever they like:
describe emotions and attitudes - not bare and boring facts are important, feelings caused by the situation are important,
you can throw out the accumulated verbally or graphically - as you like,
about memorable exhibitions, visits to cinemas and theatrical productions, interesting trips, romantic dates will remind tickets and booklets, letters and notes of a loved one - if you want to store them at the end of the diary on the cover, it is recommended to stick the envelope and put them there or paste directly on the current page,
record and sketch gift ideas for relatives and friends,
do sketches of favorite models in boutique showcases with the expectation of stitching in the near future the same, but with mother-of-pearl buttons,
to increase self-esteem, it is recommended to stick in the diary own good photos, celebrate achievements and feel free to praise yourself for success,
people who are rich in dreams are advised to write them down before they are forgotten, - dreams open the veil of inner consciousness and human experience,
women's diaries become a treasure trove quotes, aphorisms and funny jokes: Do not rely on the girl’s mistress for the mistress of the diary to read them periodically and is fun,
useful phrases in English,
spending moneyplanning spending on purchases,
admired by their simplicity or sophistication recipes,
words of favorite songs, poems, poems.
If you want and know foreign languages, you can keep a diary in one of them: agree personal diary in english - This is not only intellectually and stylishly, but also an excellent practice for expressing your own thoughts and expanding your vocabulary.
The diary of married ladies most often represents an ascetic option: short, business records without additional embellishments
Thick cardboard cover it will make the diary safer, and the creativity of the diary’s hostess will highlight an ordinary notebook or notebook from a pile of similar ones, creating a small personal corner of mood. With the help of workshops from the online needlewomen community and accessible materials, it’s easy to create own textile cover with elegant lace trim and sewing and / or rhinestones and buttons (felt originally and comfortably, but not so practical to use - they get dirty and wear out). It’s easy to change the cover depending on your mood or season.
To keep complete secrecy, you can buy notebook or notepad with lock or find in the room a secluded place for a manuscript treasure away from prying eyes and hands. How much does your own diary cost? It is truly priceless, but not at all because of the beautiful expensive cover - the time and heart invested in its pages over time will make this little notebook or book a family heirloom that will be kept fondly by future generations.
And why is all this necessary? This question returns to the first paragraph of the article - the goal. The goal of keeping a diary will become the motivation for filling it out: feelings and thoughts, perception of people and events, analysis of one’s own strengths and weaknesses, fears, achievements and actions.
A personal diary is a letter to yourself in the future and news for yourself from the past
The diary will not only be a way of self-expression: He will help scattered and fussy people to organize both thoughts and actions, teach him how to plan, sequence and structure his judgment. Recording to some is required for the development of detailed memory and insurance against senile sclerosis.
A personal diary is not just a biography and a psychotherapeutic attempt to understand oneself, find harmony and peace of mind: in some cases he is necessary for a detailed assessment of his life. Keeping a diary implies a person’s attempt to become better, wiser and make fewer mistakes in the future.
The benefits of keeping a diary
The habit of regularly writing your thoughts in a diary is valuable in itself, but it has additional benefits:
Improving Mental Health
Keeping a diary regularly can be a stress buffer in everyday life. For example, someone keeps a gratitude journal: this alone allows you to understand that there is a lot of good in your life and not to reproach yourself for not having something.
Self-esteem will increase if you write about success or fill out pages with affirmations. The mood will improve if the goal is to describe something funny or funny. In the diary, you can "survive" disturbing events in a safe environment and analyze what happened.
In ordinary life, we are often forced to say what is expected of us and behave accordingly.You do not need to do this in the diary, you can relax and be yourself.
You develop creative thinking
You've probably often heard that the best way to learn how to write is to just do it all the time. Regular journaling will teach you how to efficiently process and communicate complex ideas.
The diary will help you remember important information and brainstorm to find new ideas. Writing about your experience is a great way to see the opportunities that you missed initially.
The very fact of logging helps to start a brainstorming session. In life, we usually limit ourselves to one or two options and begin to act. With the diary, there is time to carefully analyze the problem and find several dozen creative solutions. Stop gliding on the surface, penetrate the topic as deep as possible.
You are in a conscious state
Regular journaling will literally make you live every minute of your life consciously, because you know that you will write about it later.
If you set a goal to write about what you think, what you are doing and how you feel 4-5 times a day, it will be very similar to meditation. In return, you will receive awareness, and therefore the ability to make their own decisions, rather than imposed ones.
You will begin to work on the bugs
How many mistakes do you make in a day? Few people think about this. As a rule, we notice one mistake, decide to fix it later, but forget and repeat again and again. Maybe it’s time to remove them from her life already?
Errors can be in a variety of areas: communication, business, work. If you start breaking them down into groups, you will see which ones are most common. And most importantly, there are specific reasons for the emergence of most of them.
You will become more organized
The brain is a perfect tool, but when exposed to emotions, it periodically turns off or malfunctions. You will become more organized if you often keep a diary, removing the negative and looking at the situation neutrally.
You can write about your plans, think over options, competently organize conflicting areas of your life. You can identify habits that devour time or actions that interfere with the schedule.
You will improve your memory
Improving memory is one of the most important tasks that each person faces. It allows you to find unexpected answers, is closely related to creative thinking and directly affects the ability to successfully deal with complex projects.
Keeping a diary will make your memory stronger, because you will need to remember and remember all the events of the day.
You can "digest" many of the circumstances of your life
If your life is full of different events, but there is no time to think about them, then you become like a person who takes dozens of dishes from the buffet to try everything. But eat by inertia, and not in order to have fun.
Which media to choose?
After you have decided to keep a diary, the following question arises: which format is better? Let's look at the pros and cons of each option.
If you like to “feel” the process of recording, the paper version will be the best. In fact, this is a very encouraging feeling - to sit at a table, take a pen, open a notebook and start writing.
A huge plus of this format is full physical control over the letter, as well as confidentiality (no one will hack the site and steal important or personal information, although there are reservations). A substantial minus follows from this: if the diary disappears, then everything written with it will disappear. Data cannot be restored, valuable ideas will go into oblivion forever.
Notebook paper can be combined with online platforms. For example, with the Five-Minute Journal, where you can find a motivating quote or get a topic and write about it in your diary.
If you can’t imagine your life without a phone, and a paper diary makes you bored, there are tons of applications that will replace it. They promise privacy, security, and a functional recording environment.
The best in their field:
- Penzu: an online platform for private journal keeping.
- Day One: for iOS and OS X.
- RedNotebook: A cross-platform diary that can be maintained in Wikipedia format.
Of course, you are not required to use applications. You can just save the encrypted text file to Dropbox, use Evernote, Google Keep or any other note taking program.
This can also be called a kind of diary. Its difference is that it is public, and the main drawback is that you are unlikely to clearly understand whether you are 100% frank with yourself.
Keep a diary in the morning
Yes, it is possible in the evening, but it is in the morning that your perception is fresh, and the problems have not yet been piled heavily. When you return home after work, it’s easy to justify yourself not to. Say, and so many worries.
Therefore, pre-select in your to-do list 20-30 minutes for keeping a diary. And do it every day.
Think about what you will write
There is a freewriting technique (we will talk about it later) when you write about everything that comes to mind. This is useful, but it can also be combined with a well-designed theme.
If you think for just one hour, you can understand that the number of topics that you can write about is truly endless. You will not believe - you can write about anything. About how they spent the day, about their goals, about meeting with a loved one and much more. But if a white sheet of paper is killing your imagination, think about the topics in advance.
Reread the diary
This practice gives indescribable emotions: you will see what mistakes you made in the past and which you repeat in the present. This is an effective method of psychotherapy, it allows you to look at yourself from the side and learn a lot of useful things.
We also forget a lot, and re-reading the diary helps to remember. For example, how many interesting and good things happen in our lives.
It makes no sense to keep a diary if you are afraid to tell the truth to yourself or are afraid that someone will read it. Take all precautions and be as frank as possible. In everyday life, we often engage in self-deception, so at least these 20 minutes tell yourself everything as it is.
Use every extra minute
Remember that keeping a diary is not a duty, but a blessing. Keep the diary open with a pen on it. If you need to think about something, think on paper.
Freewriting is a mechanical recording of all thoughts that arise in the head for a certain time (10-20 minutes). It is important to write without censorship, editing, changes, without worrying about style and grammar. Helps to cope with a creative crisis, apathy.
In order to get the most out of freeriting, stick to the following rules:
Say no to perfectionism, relax and write.
Tough time frames
This motivates and makes the process controlled. It also helps to dodge and write further when, it would seem, the topic has been exhausted.
The essence of this rule is that any thought can be continued. Even if it is stupid, you must develop it - bring it to the point of absurdity or draw a wise conclusion.
Since it’s important for freeriting to bring your hidden reserves to the surface, you don’t need to let your brain censor. The faster you write, the better.
Morning pages can be combined with freeriding. As soon as you wake up, take a notebook with a pen and write whatever comes to mind. This exercise develops creativity.
You can do without freeriting. Before going to bed, choose an interesting and inspiring topic and write about it in the morning. Nothing negative should be, the psyche in the morning is extremely susceptible.
At the request of “writing prompts” or “journal prompts” you will find a huge number of tips to help with the topic:
Some offer serious themes, while others offer fun and funny themes. Do not disdain anything, everything will fit:
- Write a thank you note to the friend who gave you the onion and garlic chewing gum.
- In five years I will ...
- Write about the day you would like to forget.
- Tell us about an unpleasant incident with humor.
- Open the dictionary: find the first word that comes across and write about it.
- Write about how you will restore the city after a fire in the 16th century.
- Write about your mistakes.
- Come up with an ode to your favorite football team or actor.
- Compose an advertising tagline for the toothpaste you use.
Questions and answers
The diary is created to search for answers. Difficulties are always with questions. We give you some questions, the answers to which you can start looking now.
- What am I living for?
- What am I delighted with?
- How have I succeeded in the last week?
- Make a list of things that you could do, but not done. Want to give yourself another try?
- Are tears a sign of strength or weakness?
- Why does someone believe in God, but someone does not? What are the fundamental reasons?
- What is understanding? How can we rely on understanding?
- How do you know that you are not a suggestible person? What are you not being manipulated? In the end, you may simply not be aware of this.
- What and when should you rely most on intuition, feelings or rationality?
- Was I better today than yesterday?
- What is freedom for me?
- What are most of my dreams about?
- What activity leaves you feeling like a waste of time?
- In what moments do I act logically, and in which - impulsively?
- How to learn to be yourself?
- What do I want to remember on my deathbed?
- What superpower would I like to have? What would I do? What would this lead to?
It is not necessary to use only text. Cut photos, draw with a pencil and felt-tip pen. With the help of pictures you can tell a good story.
Everything is very simple here. Take any topic and write about it: food, fashion, travel, sports, work, self-development, dreams, friends, family, art. If nothing comes into your head, take a dictionary and select the first word that comes across.
Nothing clears up the head like thinking about plans, goals and time. It’s not enough just to write on a piece of paper about the ten steps you need to take to get something. You need to constantly think about it, look for different ways to achieve it, supplement your plan. The diary is great for this.
We started to engage in self-development, but not enough time for everything? Then write in the diary about personal growth, think about it. You can act like Franklin, write down a dozen qualities that you want to develop in yourself and allocate one month for each. Or analyze what works and what doesn't. For example, games for the brain. Which are the most effective? Play a few and try to understand which ones best influence your brain, memory, and creative thinking. Write about all the advantages and disadvantages.
There are many books on how to keep a diary. Unfortunately, few have been translated into Russian - here is a short list. If you know English, you have much more options: Amazon has about a hundred books about keeping a diary and the collection is constantly updated.
- "The Diary as a Way to Yourself" by Kathleen Adams.
- “The magic of the morning. Diary »Hal Elrod.
- Reader's diary Marta Raitses.
- “My 5 years. 365 questions, 1825 answers. ”
- “It is in your power. How to Become Your Own Therapist »Rainwater Janet.
I hope we convinced you that the diary should be given a chance. Treat it as a good practice, as a means to clarify thoughts and reduce stress. In addition, there is a special magic in keeping a diary. Give yourself your word that you will be engaged in it for at least a week. Usually this period is enough to understand that you can’t do without it anymore.