Do you feel overwhelmed with various thoughts?

How about those nagging feelings that you may have missed an opportunity or forgot to complete a task? Has this in turn led you to feel that you are not living up to your potential or worse, that you may let someone down?

These feelings are universal, both for men and women, and from time to time they may be more overwhelming than we care to admit. There is a way to help manage our thoughts and projects so that we can feel more in control of our own lives.

Welcome to the wonderful world of journals! Now, let me show you how to have fun while journaling.

Nicks journaling tools

Nicks journal writing tools – unique journaling books, good quality pencils & Peeps the squirrel

Journaling is a simple concept.

Putting your thoughts to paper will not only allow you to ‘get things off your mind’, but it will allow you to visualize your thoughts. This simple concept may just help you better understand their true meaning.

Everywhere all at once. My last year of college (I went back to finish my Bachelors Degree last year) found me studying and working, both full time. There were other external things happening at this time as well, and it soon became apparent that I was on information overload. To help keep things in order I started journaling.

Journaling wasn’t a ‘to do list’ or daily planner entry, but rather a more concise look at each issue that I was dealing with at the time. From class specific issues, to feelings that I had about exams, fellow students, teachers, etc. At the time I also had to take tests for my job, learn different software programs, keep up with family and friends, as well as  different chores & projects around the house. Yikes, it got more and more overwhelming every day.

I felt much more in control when I was able to compartmentalize different tasks and

give them definition and direction.

Journaling is a doodler’s paradise.

One thing that came about from all this note taking was a sense of releasing some of my inner creativity. I’m not going to quit my day job to become an artist anytime soon, but I must admit it is a lot of fun to be able to have this creative and fun outlet in my life.

My rough draft of the storage shed that we were building

can be found in the pages of my first journal.

Having fun while journaling

Looking back on this journal entry I was amazed at how true to form our shed turned out. All based on these simple sketches. I am not a carpenter and so this wasn’t a detailed blueprint by any stretch of the imagination. By drawing my idea out on paper, I was able to visualize what it was that I was trying to create and once that mystery was solved, the idea began to take shape. No pun intended.

Journaling to find the real purpose.

You should keep a journal for yourself first and foremost! I’ve read some journaling articles that mentioned the journal should be looked at as a gift to hand down to your children or grandchildren. Personally, I had never really given any thought to anyone else reading my journal (besides Silke).

If I had began this whole journaling process with that thought riding around in the back of my mind, then keeping a journal would have felt like just another assignment that I had due.

By not worrying about who was going to read it, I was free to let all my inhibitions go and do a literal ‘brain dump’ on these pages. I hold on to the full journals only because I still find it useful to go back to re-read entries. This helps me to give the current timeline more depth and meaning.

Having fun while journaling!

Keeping a journal is not like writing a book, so don’t make it feel like one. It isn’t a diary either, so don’t use a journal only to write down your daily activities and experiences. Try different approaches.

Turn your journal book upside down and write for a while.

As strange as this might sound it will make you think differently about how you approach writing. It is because it isn’t ‘normal’, and a small part of your brain will be sending you signals that this isn’t right. Who cares what’s right?

There are no rules here and anything goes. One of the things that I sought out right away, was the journal itself. I didn’t want a notebook with a bland cover that would be easily overlooked or dismissed as merely a planner.

Instead, I opted to incorporate some of my own photographs into the cover and the results were something that felt much more personable and appealing to myself. The concept being, ‘This is my space and no one else’s’.

Journaling can be fun for men

Two of my own journal designs – Find more unique artwork

My final thoughts on journaling.

Allowing myself to organize my thoughts and feelings into something that feels more manageable has made a huge difference in my life.

Keeping a journal book isn’t going to magically solve all your problems, but it will help you keep a certain level of control. It will help you process your thoughts so that you can achieve a better sense of understanding and insight.

Do you keep a journal? What works and what doesn’t work for you? Leave us a comment below and be sure to subscribe.


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