Step Five: Self-Help
Steps To Recovery

Jackson Headshot_SketchHave you ever been so frustrated with someone that you feel as though your eyes might pop out, and someone tells you, “Write it down”? Do you remember wondering how writing it down could help you? Do you remember if you actually tried to see if writing it down helped?

Well, next time, you should. Journaling can be such an effective way of helping yourself for little to no cost at all. By observing your behaviors you can learn a lot about yourself, your traits and the way you interact with others. Moreover, this form of self-help is one of the best ways to track your individual progress.

While none of us might want to think about it, the school year is approaching rapidly. If you look back on this past year, how many things do you actually remember? As I mentioned in my first column, the few really good things or bad things are the ones that often stand out and dictate the way you think about your year. There are so many little details that are often forgotten, until some other memory or event triggers the remembrance. Those miniscule details are the ones that oftentimes make up who we are, Sorry for being so cliche, but it’s true.

During this school year, we should all attempt to journal about the events that transpire. Though it is very hard to do daily, it would be great if you could dedicate some spare time to jotting down how you’re doing. Start with introspection; write down how you’re feeling and why. From there, write about what you need or what you want. You would be surprised at how much more organized your thoughts are once you get them out onto paper. Let your mind wander and see where you end up. For some people it might be more beneficial to have your journal be theme-oriented; for example, you could include a certain event that might be festering, problems you are having with one of your friends or something you want to pursue as your career.

Journaling doesn’t have to be boring, but it is a commitment. In order to see results you must sometimes encourage yourself that the end product is worth the little bit of time that you are sacrificing. Start with a plan; maybe you will journal every Monday as a self-check-in before the week starts, or every Wednesday right in the middle of the week. Start with something simple that you can achieve and work from there.

Once you get into your routine, it is also good to go back and read previous entries. By logging your progress of emotions and actions you can better get a sense of who you are and why you do the things you do. By no means are you going to be able to understand why you do everything you do after a month or so of journaling, but it will reveal more about you than you know now. The act of writing is not only therapeutic, but it also helps you make decisions, uncover memories, understand what your values and goals are and grow spiritually. In summation, help yourself help yourself by journaling.

 

Santana Jackson is a rising junior in the College. Steps To Recovery appears every other Thursday.

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