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Dear Diary: Why Writing In a Journal Shouldn’t Just Be A Thing You Do In Class

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Dear You: Why You Should Be Writing Letters to Yourself!

You write for class, and you write to your friends (mainly through iMessage and Snapchat messenger), but when was the last time you wrote to and for yourself? When was the last time you opened your mind and put your thoughts and emotions into words? And no, writing a Facebook status that starts,“I usually don’t talk about politics on social media, but…” doesn’t count. Writing your thoughts down is one of the most intimate and intense ways you can connect with yourself. 

When was the last time you physically wrote?

Anybody can choose Helvetica, Times New Roman, or even Comic Sans (please limit your usage of Comic Sans) to “write,” but nobody can write a letter exactly how you do. To see your thoughts in your writing will encourage you more to push onward towards goals you set and resonate with emotions you feel. Writing on paper turns intangible thoughts, goals, and thoughts into physical artifacts from moments in time that are unable to be relieved. Handwriting does this better than any generic typeface ever could.

Why should you write?

Writing to and for yourself provides a way to relieve your feelings and outer stresses free of criticism. It also enables you to organize the ambiguity that may swirl inside your head. This alone time allows you to write and not worry about proper grammar, correct spelling, or even if your sentences and thoughts make sense. In other words, you can pour your heart out under no constraints that you would otherwise experience in group settings (e.g. having to sift out words deemed inappropriate, off-putting, or strange in order to be accepted by others). This safe space alone will provide relief for you to express your true self. Organizing your thoughts and goals will decompress any exasperating mental tension too.

It’s Never Too Late to Begin!

Start today. Tomorrow. Even a week from now. You deserve this. Give yourself this space and this time, but don’t let it be a one time experience. Habitual handwriting will allow you to reflect on the progression of your physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

Today, challenge yourself to:

  • close your laptop.
  • switch on the “Do Not Disturb” setting on your phone or completely power it down.
  • find a space where you can focus all your energy on listening to your thoughts
  • disconnect with the world to reconnect with yourself.

You hold the potential to be your greatest support system. It’s right in the palm of your hand.

By: Mary Mik

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