“Michel Foucault talked of the ancient genre of hupomnemata (notes to oneself). He called the journal a ‘weapon for spiritual combat,’ a way to practice philosophy and purge the mind of agitation and foolishness and to overcome difficulty. To silence the barking dogs in your head. To prepare for the day ahead. To reflect on the day that has passed. Take note of insights you’ve heard. Take the time to feel wisdom flow through your fingertips and onto the page. This is what the best journals look like. They aren’t for the reader. They are for the writer. To slow the mind down. To wage peace with oneself.” — From Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday.
I have found journaling to be the most effective method for overcoming inner disturbances. Journaling for me is not keeping a diary and logging the events of the day, but exploring who I am.
The purpose of keeping a journal differs for everyone. Some like to analyze their past, unraveling the web of unprocessed events that have accrued over their lifetime. Coming to terms with the past can help us make better sense of the present and future. Another style could be emotional journaling, exploring feelings as they arise, and identifying their triggers.
Whichever style you choose, it’s important to remember that journaling isn’t the story of what you’re doing but rather the story of how you’re thinking.