One of my favorite things to do is to keep a journal. I probably have maintained one since my freshman year of college. It has helped me through many tough moments, especially when my mind could not handle the abstraction of all the information hitting me and I needed things distilled, concrete, and in a linear fashion. The majority of the pages in my journal are of me cataloging events and emotions. It is not an everyday affair, I just make sure to have my journal around my room at arm’s length whenever I want to express the noise in my mind into something more structured. It usually a dump of my thoughts from that moment and immediately I am able to walk away from it. Usually a page of writing has been enough to free me from the cycle of overthinking things. There are many times I pick up the book and after a sentence of writing I am more motivated to do the task that was plaguing just minutes ago. Getting things down on paper helps the mind organize the chatter in your mind into something intelligible. In the past year I tried harder to break away from ritualizing this activity. Instead of grabbing my fountain pen, I will write with any pen nearby with an adequate supply of ink. I no longer add locations to my entries and have deferred to rounding out the date instead of trying to get it down to the minute. Since going through several notebooks now, I finally see the importance of capturing a comprehensive view of all the things I ponder. I now glue post-it notes with quote and full typed brain dumps. I no longer tethered to the pen and can type mad quickly on my ipad and literally paste the print out into a page in my book.
The purpose of journaling is to clear your mind. Not just to gain focus but to establish a target to your focus.