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Taking Our Own Advice

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A Personal Reflection on Journaling

I struggle to be mindful at times.

I know everyone does. The idea of being able to come back to yourself in a difficult situation is something that isn’t easy when your emotions get the best of you (depending on the situation). The key word being ‘allow’, to have the kind of mindset where you don’t let external entities affect your inner solitude and handle a situation maturely is based around building a lot of self-discipline, being honest with yourself and paying attention to your patterns. 

I’ve found journaling to be very helpful when my mind flusters. Journaling is a personal exploration of one’s mind. It doesn’t have to be specific. Many think journaling is based on something very specific, but it can be perceived in many different ways. For example, you can write a list of affirmations for a day, write about how you’re feeling about a certain situation or something you learned about yourself from a particular incident, write down your goals for the month or even write a letter to yourself. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Personally, I see it as a way of silencing my mind. There are days that are celebrated and days I wished never happened in which case my mind gets flooded with recurring thoughts. Being able to write all of those thoughts down can sometimes be such a relief because once they get on paper, it means I can analyze my mind further. “Why did I have this specific thought?” “Why am I affected by this situation so much?” “What can I do personally to encourage my self-growth and maturity?” “What aspects of my behavior can make me understand myself better?”. Questions like this have played such a big role in my self-discovery and understanding what triggers me and what brings me joy. 

For far too long, people have been conditioned in so many ways to believe that happiness is something you learn from the outside which to some extent is true but essentially they are only guides. For example, following social media pages based on self-improvement, spirituality and other positivity based accounts, while unfollowing or muting accounts that trigger you emotionally is just a very small step in understanding changes you can make to your daily routine so you can be consistently reminded about your ‘inner’ journey. That is keeping in mind that it’s obviously never a bad thing to let yourself feel negative emotions as long as you’re doing it in a safe manner and not hurting others in the process. 

Essentially, I feel as though journaling reminds us of how fragile we are allowed to be and to remind us why it’s important to reflect on ourselves to make living for ourselves and the people around us that much easier. Finding inner peace means finding peace with the outside world as well. 

Journaling is such a personal exercise that it almost forces you to confront what you’re really feeling and be honest with yourself which is extremely beautiful when you learn to accept and embrace everything about yourself and your surrounding. Given the fact that this is not something I do daily, ever since I started journaling it’s made me think a lot about my own personality and insecurities and has without a doubt improved my outlook on life and brings “take your own advice” to a whole other level.

edited by Nadeesha Paulis and Adria Pereira

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