Every now and then my printer indicates that it is time for an alignment. The copy job pauses and the printer automatically prints out a page of lines and a little bird, showing me that the adjustment is complete. I never notice that I needed it but it always looks better after the alignment is completed.
The same idea applies to my mental wellbeing — only my version of the printer adjustment involves writing longhand in a journal every morning for a few months. Many people journal every day, but, for me, letter writing usually suffices for routine reflection. But, like that printer, every now and then I need a course correction and journaling is it.
Journaling has been shown to improve memory, wellbeing, performance and communication and to decrease anger, worry and stress. The handwritten “brain dump” is the best method I know to release all the negative thoughts and it’s far more therapeutic for me than ranting on social media or withdrawing altogether.
The Daily Stoic has some examples of journaling but emphasizes that any method that works for you is the right one to use. Don’t be daunted by the thought of needing to write every day – an occasional re-alignment might be all you need to stay centered.