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Sunday, 28 February 2021

5 Ways to Journal for Good Mental Health

 


I started journaling in 2014 after listening to Robin Sharma’s mastery sessions. Journaling has helped me in understanding myself, having better clarity of my goals, releasing pent-up anger, expressing my gratitude, and be more organized.

Over the years, I have become a calmer and more emotionally stable person due to journaling. Earlier, I used to have massive mood swings which I comprehended as normal. I never tried to understand why my mood changed. I used to distract myself with Netflix or Social Media until my mood changed for the better.

I write in my journal every Sunday evening. I review the bygone week and plan the next week. I have downloaded a journal App on my phone called ‘Presently’ where I write down the things that I am grateful for, every single day. Apart from these rituals, I journal when I feel upset, confused, and chaotic. From my own experience, I can say that Journaling is the key to good mental health.

In this article, I will discuss 5 ways to journal to feel happy, calm, and emotionally stable.

1.List of Things That You are Grateful For

Making a list of things that you are grateful for can make you feel so much good about your life. As I have mentioned, I have this ritual of writing down 10 things I am grateful for.

No matter how stressful your day is, there is always something to be grateful for. And when we feel grateful for all the things that we have, we attract better things in our life.  

2.Letter Writing

If you are angry or upset with someone, write a letter to them in your journal. Write everything that you want to tell them in person. Once you have written down all those feelings, you will start feeling better. Then, you can talk to that person depending on the equation that you share or you can just wish them well and move on.

Often, our suppressed feelings give way to pain and depression. So, if anyone’s behavior has hurt you, you can write a letter to them in your journal.

3.Express your feelings about a situation

If you find yourself in a troubling situation where you are confused or upset, write down in your journal about your feelings about that particular situation. As you will pour your thoughts on paper, things will get clearer. The Divine Intelligence will guide you in understanding the best that you can do in your situation.

4.Get to Know Yourself

When you spend more time with yourself, you will know yourself better. Journaling is a great way to know about your likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness, fears, and anxieties. You can use these simple prompts to know yourself better:

I feel the best when…..

I feel upset and angry when….

My strengths….

My weaknesses….

I worry about….

3 dreams that I want to fulfill….

5. Review the last week

I already told about my Sunday evening ritual when I contemplate the bygone week. Doing this exercise helps me understand how I can be a better and more organized person.

We keep learning various things every week but because we don’t document them, we forget those precious insights. So, it is a great idea to review the last week on your journal and make plans for the week ahead.

Now that you know about 5 different ways to journal, I would like to share a few tips that will make your journaling journey a comfortable one:

(i)Let your journal be a judgment-free zone. Do not judge yourself by what you have written.

(ii)Do not worry about grammar and spelling. Write freely without worrying about a spelling mistake or a typo.

(iii)Set a timer of fifteen minutes. Keep writing till the timer buzzes.

(iv)Write every day at least for five minutes to gain maximum benefit.

Embark on this beautiful and peaceful journey of journaling today. You will not only have better mental health but you will discover yourself as your best friend.

"This post is part of Blogchatter's CauseAChatter"

Sunday, 14 February 2021

You Came Like Autumn - A Short Story

 


Nivedita looked at the uncannily familiar man from one side of the lake. He was reading a newspaper, oblivious of her presence.

It has been more than two weeks since Nivedita had become a resident of the old age home situated amid the greenery. She did not miss her house as she was unwelcome there. In this place, people smiled and talked to her without making her feel that they are doing a huge favor on her. She could breathe freely after what felt like ages. 

Between her freedom and the fear of loneliness, she had allowed the former to win.

The only thread that still binds her to home is her teenage granddaughter, Neeva who loves her unconditionally.

“Look what I have bought for you, dimma.”

Nivedita was overwhelmed with emotions to see her college diary on her lap. She caressed it with tenderness and looked at Neeva with gratitude.

“I found it in the storeroom. I knew that you would love this surprise.”

“This diary is my time-machine, Neeva. I thought I had lost it forever.”

“I have read some of your poems. They are mesmerizing. For whom had you written those poems, dimma?”

Nivedita smiled with a pang in her heart. Her eyes again wandered and rested on that man sitting on the bench.

“Can you do me a favour, Neeva?”

“Anything for you! You are my most favorite person in this world.”

“Can you ask that man his name? I have a gut feeling that I had seen him somewhere, but my sixty-five -year-old brain is unable to recall.”

“Not a problem! I will be back in a moment.”

***

Nivedita opened her diary and looked at the yellow pages where her youth, love, longing, and pain are captured. Some of the pages in the diary have become brittle, threatening to escape like the stray leaves of autumn. She got drowned in her juvenile words when a familiar voice took her out of her reverie.

“Nivi!”

Nivedita’s heartbeat quickened when the familiar voice called her name again. There was only one person in the world who called her by that name.

She composed her uneven breathing before looking at the man whom she was observing for a few days from afar.

“Samar!”

“Yes!” The man with salt and pepper hair smiled at her.

Nivedita could recognize his voice at once. Now that he is in front of her, she could easily recognize his face embellished with a few freckles and wrinkles.

Samar took a long look at Nivedita. Her sky blue tant cotton saree was pinned elegantly and her partly grey hair was neatly tied in a bun.

Neeva could realize that her grandmother and the stranger wanted to talk to each other. She left with an excuse.

“I always wanted to see you at least one time before breathing my last. But I never wanted to meet you in an old age home, Nivi.” Samar said as he sat beside Nivedita.

“I am happier here. My children do not value me, especially after my husband passed away. And now, at this stage of life, I want to value myself. My pension is meeting the expenses of this place. You don’t have to pity me. Why are you here, Samar?”

“I had never married and lived like a vagabond for most of my life. I was staying with my nephew for the last five years. After he went to the US, I thought this would be a good place for me to spend my remaining years.”

Nivedita nodded as hundreds of unanswered questions somersaulted in her head.

She carelessly leafed through the pages of the diary.

“Is that the same poetry book that you used to carry in college?” Samar asked in exhilaration as he noticed the diary on Nivedita’s lap.

“Yes. My granddaughter found it in the storeroom.”

“Can I see it once?” Samar said with a twinkle in his eyes. He was aware that the poems that Nivedita used to write in the diary were about their love.

“No matter how beautiful the autumn leaves look, they have to leave the tree. These poems have also become like that. They have no purpose now.” Nivedita said with a faraway look.

“You have not changed a bit, Nivi. You still talk in metaphors when you want to push me away. Did you ever remember me in these four decades?”

Nivedita looked at Samar’s anticipating eyes concealed by his spectacles.

“The years have been busy taking care of my family and raising my children. There was no time for nostalgia.” Nivedita paused and took a long breath. Then she continued, “But when no one valued me, no one cared for me, I did remember you. In those moments when everyone made me feel unworthy and useless, I used to think that at least there is one person in this entire world for whom I am valuable and precious.” Nivedita’s eyes glistened with tears as she said those words.

She silently got up from the bench and walked towards her room. Samar watched her silhouette disappear into nothingness.

Just like an autumn leaf, a yellow page from her diary had fluttered and rested on the ground. Samar picked it up and read:

I can see

Rivers of roses

Valleys of unread letters

Drenched by the nimbus clouds

Of Uncried Tears

Spanning between us…

 

Beloved,

My eyes await

The amber sun every day

To flicker through the clouds

Telling me about your arrival.

 

A lone tear escaped Samar’s eyes as he realized with a heavy heart that she had waited for him. If only he had made a slightly different choice, he would not have to meet the love of his life in an old age home after four decades.  

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To be continued…

(I plan to expand this story further in the near future)

*dimma: an endearing term used to address maternal grandmother in Bengali

*tant:  Bengali handloom saree


‘This blog post is a part of the Petals of Love Blog Hop hosted by Swarnali Nath.’





Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Celebrate with your loved ones and don't forget to bask in some self-love today! 

You can download a free copy of my poetry book

 "The Heart Listens to No One"

here

(It is free on Amazon Kindle till the 15th of February)