Table of contents:
- “In my parents' house, in my old nursery, there is an old closet. In the back of the closet is a box with notebooks and notepads covered with my hand. Sometimes, when I come on vacation, I devote a whole evening to these treasures. I reread, I remember myself at eleven, fifteen, seventeen … This is my personal time machine. "
- Why do we keep diaries
- Why diary entries are more useful than friendly get-togethers in the kitchen
- What are writing practices
Video: Why Keep A Diary? - Self-development
“In my parents' house, in my old nursery, there is an old closet. In the back of the closet is a box with notebooks and notepads covered with my hand. Sometimes, when I come on vacation, I devote a whole evening to these treasures. I reread, I remember myself at eleven, fifteen, seventeen … This is my personal time machine. "
“When I was sixteen, I burned my diary entries. Then she was sorry. I carefully store everything that I have written down since then. This is both a very memorable thing and the opportunity, if you wish, to return to this or that moment to look at it in a new way.
“All my diaries, from childhood to the present time, are safe and sound. Their whole suitcase! In this suitcase and move with me from place to place. Once every few years, I do an audit and read records from a certain period. It's always touching, exciting and … useful."
Those who constantly kept a diary in childhood or adolescence often take this interesting habit with them and into adulthood. Above are quotes from the stories of such people about what exactly personal diary entries are valuable to them. This is a separate story for each. And the more interesting this topic is to a person who has never kept diaries. And maybe I would like to try. One of the undoubted advantages of this activity is that you can start it at any age. At seven, thirty-seven, sixty-seven - at any period of life, a personal diary can become a good friend, an outlet, and in some cases a kind of psychotherapist.
Why do we keep diaries
“I woke up at 7.30. I ate breakfast, looking out the window. It was snowing outside the window. I fell asleep on the bus, almost overslept at the bus stop.
It should be admitted that very often everyday diary entries look something like this. This is a chronicle of our everyday life, where fascinating plots and raging passions are several times less than everyday realities. Often the owner of the diary writes only about minor details day after day: it was snowing, had a headache, the soup was not tasty in the dining room for lunch. Does this make sense?
To get an answer to this question, remember what you are talking about when you meet with a friend whom you have not seen for a long time. When he asks how you are doing, do you immediately start talking about important experiences? Or are they also spending time discussing health, shopping, and everyday activities? Of course, every relationship is unique and there are no rules. But more often than not, it takes us some time to move from social talk to what really cares. Roughly the same thing happens with the diary.
At some point, we can open a notebook and immediately start talking on paper about what is tormenting or making us happy right now. At other times (and this happens more often), something very important about us flashes like red flags between the lines about the simple and the ordinary. Rereading your diary after a while, you realize that on that day you were sad, regretted something, or was incredibly cheerful - even if this was not written in plain text.
Speaking up is one of the simplest types of help a person can give themselves. Someone has a loved one for this, someone a psychologist. Some have only a diary
And this is not necessarily the case when a person is completely alone. But the ability to trust someone is also not constant. It can change depending on the state, on the experienced experience; finally, it also depends on who exactly is next to us and how trusting our relationship is. A diary is not a substitute for a living interlocutor, but he does not evaluate, does not doubt the truth of my words, does not criticize. Doesn't say: "What are you inventing for yourself!" It is not surprising that in many cases we choose him as an opportunity to speak out (albeit in writing).
Why diary entries are more useful than friendly get-togethers in the kitchen
Friendship is one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a person in his life. We rely on friends, trust them with secrets and count on their support. The normal state of affairs, if we mean exactly friendly relations, and not something else that masquerades as them. But it happens that a friendly heart-to-heart conversation for some reason does not bring the desired relief. This usually happens when we confuse friendship with psychotherapy. Not consciously, of course, but nevertheless - we are waiting for acceptance, lack of assessments, security in which you can express your feelings. But our friends, as a rule, do not have the makings of psychologists. They manifest themselves as ordinary living people. Therefore, sometimes, having trusted and told about something important, we feel disappointment that we cannot explain to ourselves.
This, of course, is not about stopping trusting friends. Just try to understand exactly what you are expecting when talking to a friend about your problem. And does he remain in the position of a friend in the picture of your expectations, or does he become a mentor, advisor, comforter? This simple action can clarify a lot, and ultimately make your relationship more understandable and joyful.
A diary entry has a simple and at the same time amazing property of "returning" what we have written. Having told on paper about your condition, you seem to separate it from yourself and can now look at it from the side
This process has two consequences, and both are good in their own way. The first is that you can look at the problem differently, see it in a new way, and even interact with it. Make it three-dimensional and visible. So, a child imagines an unknown fantastic creature, and then sits down and sculpts his figurine from plasticine. Wow, so this is what you really are! You can turn it over in your hands, look at it. Put it on the shelf if you like it. Or crumple, make it shapeless again, if it scares.
The second consequence is that, by describing our condition on paper, we are to some extent, and sometimes completely free from it. Talking, we express feelings, using also the motor skills of the hands - in the complex we “act out” our state, live it, take it out. And it usually gets easier.
Similar processes take place in consultation with a psychologist, although they are carried out in many different ways, depending on the situation, as well as on the approach in which the specialist works.
What are writing practices
Written practice is an exercise that, unlike diary entries, has a structure and a specific purpose. For example, find a resource, make the right decision, see the situation from a new angle. Good writing practice has clear instructions. It can indicate the execution time, as well as a specific sequence of steps.
Writing practices can be done independently. You do not need to have special education or training for this. Great news for those who need support but cannot go to a psychologist right now, for whatever reason.
True, there are cases in which both structured practices and a diary can do harm rather than help. If a person has difficulty concentrating, if he suffers from a mental disorder, and also if he simply, for no apparent reason, notices that he is getting worse from writing, then you should not do this. Otherwise, it may turn out that you will not leave the critical state, but, on the contrary, aggravate it, creating by the process of writing more and more volume for immersion.
If you are now feeling interested and want to understand if this kind of self-support is right for you, try a simple exercise first to help you end your day and better comprehend it. Choose a place where no one will disturb you. Take a notebook and pen that are comfortable to use and enjoy (yes, this is important!). Within five to seven minutes, answer the questions:
- How did my day begin?
- What was the most memorable thing from the past day?
- If this day had a color, what would it be? And the taste? Smell? The form?
- Is there something in the past day that I would like to leave in my heart, take into the future, make my own? It can be a phrase, a meeting with someone, an impression, an important thought.
- Is there something in the past day that I would like to leave in it, not to take it with me into the future?
- To put it in one single word, what am I at the end of this day, right now? The word that comes to mind may seem strange, illogical; the main thing is to just feel that this is it.
- What would I like to say goodbye to the passing day?
Take a few minutes to rest and write how you felt while doing the exercise? Has your condition changed in any way? What seemed important, and what, perhaps, unexpected? How do you feel right now?
What to read
- The site of Daria Kutuzova, a psychologist, narrative therapist, thanks to whom written practices became known and spread in Russia.
- The book by Kathleen Adams "The Diary as a Path to Yourself" - if you want to study the topic of diary studies in more detail and try different writing practices.