|>> || I've been journaling on and off since 2015. I originally started just as a way of recording my dreams, just because they would be so impactful on me, that I'd think it would be a waste to forget them. Then about a month alter, I wanted to see how my sleep and diet could affect my dreams, so I started noting down those with them. Afterwards, I thought the more detailed I could be (what I watched on TV, interactions with people, thoughts I had), the more I could analyse what could cause me to dream about certain things. |
I wouldn't say the effects take years to kick in though, and journalling is not something I hide from people, and when people ask I'll tell them of the benefits I get from it, but I don't go around actively recommending it for fear of being preachy. I had one funny story where a friend of mine was going to get kicked out of the uni residence for having a girl over past a certain time, with him saying that the day they were claiming she didn't even come over, though it was about two weeks after the event. He told me about it, and I was curious and went back through my journal, and found that we had spent pretty much that entire afternoon/night in the university library because it was the only place with heaters nearby, so they could check the camera there and realise they had wrong information, since they were basing it on one of the security guard's recollection.
In more serious ways though, I have a habit of overhyping bad things and worrying a lot. Usually when I recognise I'm getting like this, I'll go back in my journal and read from say a month or two earlier, and it would usually calm me down. I'd see a month ago I'd be freaking out about what I thought was the end of the world, and I would have forgotten all about by now. Helps me realise that what I'm freaking out over now, could possibly mean nothing to me in a week, so it's not too much to worry over. It's also good for noting progress too. I've moved my life forwards in certain ways, and it's nice to look back at days where I"d play LoL all day and eat plain pasta because it was all I could afford, which makes me feel thankful for having a job and the option to choose what I want to eat now.
I really like the second point that >>534398 brings up as well, you do have to learn from this to benefit from it. I usually read over what I've written at the end of the night, and try to see what I did well and what I didn't, to prevent it in the future. Could be something as simple as "I was feeling tired today at work, so my mind wasn't working as fast as it should. That's likely because I was up until 2am watching movies or something, so I should remember not to do that in the future or I'll keep feeling like this."
That being said, it doesn't always work, as I'm typing this instead of doing an essay that's due in about 3 hours, despite me having 5 years of daily notes about how shit I promise I'll start early next time so I don't have to rush it and feel like shit.