When Meditation Doesn't Work, Try Journaling to Stay Sane
I'm always searching for ways to counteract my type-A, future-focused tendencies that make me a tangled ball of stress. Try
Up until a couple months ago, I'd always thought of journals as something my teenage self would scoff at. But actually
Laboriously laying out these thoughts on paper have led to many revelations I wouldn't have arrived at if I'd just sat and ruminated on them. The second benefit sounds more meditative. With journaling, I feel utterly present in the moment, entranced by the repetitive motion of moving my pen and seeing my thoughts materialize onto paper. It's very different from when I'm writing words on my laptop. It's just more relaxing.
If you decide to give journaling a shot, it's important to ditch any ideas of being "perfect" about it. I know people who've spent way too much money on pens and notebooks, only to still have blank pages. If premium pen and paper are what you're into, then that's cool. I'm okay with my notebook from the Japanese dollar store and a good enough pen. Just remember to actually, you know, write.
And don't get too hung up on what to write about . Plenty of random thoughts pop into my head throughout the day, but there's usually one that resonates more deeply than others. Before, I'd used to let those thoughts languish and eventually fall into the ether, but now I spend 20-30 minutes teasing them out and just writing-there doesn't even have to be a conclusion or takeaway! That's the great thing about this. In addition to the catharsis, you learn to be more generally aware of how certain things make you feel and why.
It's never too late to start a journal. And I'm saying this after so many years of writing already.