This story originally appeared on the Gents Cafe Newsletter. You can subscribe here.
Ink on paper will eventually fade away like an echo in the distance. However, when you put your pen to paper you create a moment in time where you get to experience yourself. At least that’s how I feel when I journal. Not to be mistaken with writing your to-do list in a notebook or a sentence that begins Dear Diary, no, journaling is exposing your thoughts, exploring a memory, and making sense of your feelings. Someone may wonder what exactly is in a gentleman’s journal. Is it filled with his dreams, his fears, his regrets, or is it filled with the poetry of his mind, a list of all the women that are swooning over him, a place he tells of his kisses? Maybe it’s all of the above, or maybe it’s none of the above.
When I first started journaling it was a way for me to quiet my mental noise, a way of emptying my mind of the thoughts I had during the day, the things I struggled with, the things that would usually keep me up until 3 in the morning. Little did I know that journaling was slowly becoming part of my personal development. I learned to be consistent and how to articulate what I was thinking; two things I didn’t even know I needed because at that time I never believed anyone would be interested in what I wanted to share. I even took it a step further and took some of what I wrote and created an e-book called Connoisseur Notes: A Year in Thought. I knew I wasn’t the only man with certain thoughts and maybe what I shared could help someone.
Fast forward to today, I see journaling as an extension of meditating. Meditating helps me ground myself, with what I’m feeling and then journaling allows me to let those thoughts and feelings flow. At times it’s a couple of quotes, other times it’s a few paragraphs. Whatever needs to be said to me. As someone that also deals with depression and not always having someone to speak to, journaling became my therapy session. It helped me see exactly what my complete raw thoughts were so I knew what needed to be addressed.
So if you’ve been on the fence about journaling it can help you in numerous ways. It will help your mental health, it will help you improve your memory, develop your self-awareness, and improve your communication skills. As much as journaling is something personal for you, a better you mean your relationship with others also improves. Happy journaling.
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