Journaling. No, It’s Not My Diary.

I have grown increasingly stressed out over the last few days. You’d think my stress would dissipate after finishing my senior project and my last season of softball. Nope. Now I have a whole new list of worries on my plate starting with the age old question: what am I going to do with my life after college?

Honestly, I hadn’t put a lot of thought into it. I mean, I can recite my elevator speech on command when asked about my future.

Stranger: “So what’re your plans after you graduate?”

Me: “Right now I am applying for jobs, both in this area and in California. Long term I see myself being back there, but if I were to find a job locally I would take it and use it to gain experience. I would then use that experience to eventually get a job in the area I desire.”

Basically a round about way of saying that I am in the process of getting my life together, but haven’t quite gotten there yet. You see, like any young adult, the idea of the future stresses me out. It gives me massive amounts of anxiety not knowing what I am going to do or where I am going to end up with for the rest of my life.

For some reason, it all just hit me today. I have to move out of the house I’ve been living in for the past two years. I have to potentially say goodbye to all of the friends I have grown to love over the past four years. I have to become an adult. A productive member of society. So, after a minor freak out, I channeled my anxiety into my journal.

Journaling is something that I started doing a few years ago. No it is not a diary. I do not write about the latest boy I have a crush on or how made I am at my sisters. I journal as a way to release. I write about my day, how I am feeling, pretty much anything I want. Sometimes it is very intense. Sometimes I just doodle. However, each session always has the same result. I always, without fail, feel better after journaling. I feel lighter, less stressed, and more in control of my life and my thoughts.

A blog post I read from the HuffingtonPost by Thai Nguyen mentioned several benefits a person can get from keeping a journal. Some of these benefits include evoking mindfulness, boosting memory and comprehension, and improving communication. To me, the most beneficial benefit was that of healing. Journaling can be an important step in healing emotionally, physically, and psychologically.

I realize journaling might not be for everyone. Some people prefer communicating out loud instead of on paper. That’s okay! All I am saying is that if you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, overworked, or any other type of emotion that is causing you discomfort and you haven’t found a method to channel it, check out journaling. I promise, it is worth the try.

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