The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I was told journaling is simply writing down my thoughts and the way I felt about them so I can understand myself more clearly, but for me this wasn’t the case. I did attempt to journal at three different time periods of my life, and each time it made me feel worse than I already did.
By the third time, I even took the advice of many journal Instagram influencers of getting super cute notebooks, pretty colored pens, and many stickers. Let me tell you now, it did not help at all.
The first attempt at journaling was when I was in high school, where the only thing going on in my life was the typical student drama. Honestly, a week in, I forgot I even had a journal and when I did eventually find it again a few months later, it made me feel awful because I had not accomplished any of the goals I wrote down, nor did I improve on any of the things I was supposed to.
The second attempt was at a pretty happy time in my life. I was content with how things were going and how I felt with where I was. Writing down my thoughts and feelings at this point wasn’t an issue. I was having fun with it and I was making it pretty with highlighters and little drawings. I was bullet journaling as well, just like the influencers I saw on Instagram! I had a whole month’s worth of journal entries and it was great — until things were not going as happily. At some of the toughest moments of my life, it was so hard to see my feelings written down because it made it seem so real and it wasn’t helping me move on.It was actually holding me back from looking for solutions for my situation.
The third attempt was at one of the hardest moments of my life. It was hard to see what might be next for me and it was getting harder to look for a way out. I decided to give journaling one last try, with lots of research backing up this decision, so I could give it a good solid shot. Seeing my negative feelings written down had me getting disappointed in myself. It started feeling like a chore on my list that I had to do to even get close to finding peace, when in fact I could easily do it without the journaling. I was forcing myself to write even the simplest of thoughts and it was becoming a burden day by day.
Maybe one day, I will give it another go, but for now journaling isn’t for me.I hope it works for you, and if not, that’s okay, too!