I find writing things down to be a powerful meditation tool. My mind has a tendency to become overwhelmed. I am a classic over-thinker, a worrier. It leads to me losing sleep, biting my nails, picking my face. Sometimes I feel as though my life is falling apart on top of me. It is, of course, all in my head. I have great life circumstances. I am well fed. I have a safe bed to sleep in. I have friends, family, and a job I enjoy. Though my anxiety maybe all in my head, that does not make the feelings any less real.
By taking my overpopulated mind and putting the thoughts in to words on paper, I am able to relieve a lot of my worry trapped in my head. I keep a journal by my bedside. Often times I’ll feel the need to write down what I am feeling. Usually I only write when I feel upset, angry, or anxious. I have started to incorporate positive thoughts too. That way when I read back on what I wrote, I can recount the good times too. A great thing about journaling is that I can see the pattern of my problem. I write down the dates on each entry so I can track what weeks I feel down. I can see certain months where I suffered worse than others. I can now feel more empowered over my emotions. I can pinpoint what brings me down in life. It gives me a better idea how to fix it. I don’t usually write out full thoughts or paragraphs. Sometimes a phrase will come to me and I will jog it down. Somethings I write are abstract. Some are to the point. Either way, writing it down makes me feel in control of what I feel.
Another way that writing relieves stress for me is through list making. Making to-do lists, wish-lists, shopping-lists, and so on organizes the countless thoughts running around in my head. Lists also help me remember, and that reduces my stress too. The act of writing, pen and paper style, calms my mind.
I recommend trying it out if you need help organizing your thoughts. Your words don’t need to be Shakespeare. Mine certainly aren’t. Just get it out on paper—in the physical world. You may be surprised what acknowledging your thoughts can do. But please, if you are depressed and have ever contemplated self-harm or suicide, please search for professional help. Much love to all,
When I was around eleven years old, I began being introduced to the idea of a career. What do I, a prepubescent girl, want to spend most of my life doing? It seemed like a daunting decision and being the ball of stress I have always been, I overthought it. Teacher, doctor, firefighter, police officer, these were the most common answers.
At that age I had just become tall enough to ride certain roller coasters. My dream then was to engineer roller coasters. I was pretty excited about this idea until I discovered I would need to study advanced math for many years to accomplish my goal. Who knew?
Since that age my interest have, not surprisingly, changed. Here I am now, 20 years old and a Junior in College, trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. Especially now that I am paying for an education to ultimately land me a paying career, it’s a significant decision.
I began college thinking I wanted to be somewhere in the medical field. I majored in Biology. Throughout high school, my strongest subjects were math and science. It just made sense that I would study one of the two post high school. Plus, the medical field would always have jobs and they pay well. Logical choice.
I realized two and a half terms in that I made my decision for all the wrong reasons. If I wanted to be a physician or nurse, I should have chosen in because I like helping people. Instead I based a lifelong decision on money and perceived strengths and weaknesses.
I began to panic as I realized my growing apathy for my field of study. What else was I good at? Certainly I was not creative or artistic. I sucked at art. At least, I had told myself that since I was around thirteen. At thirteen I sold myself short. I told myself that I couldn’t be good at making beautiful things. My only talent was in mathematics and science. I put myself in a box and limited myself to only a handful of fields I could study. It was stifling.
I started looking at what I really cared about. Sure money is important, but I realized that I would never be happy making it my top priority. I wanted to enjoy my work. I wanted to be passionate about it. I have since discovered how much I enjoy creating things. I love the beauty of art and nature. I get excited about digital design. I look forward to putting together creative projects. Taking a thought provoking photograph thrills me.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. I certainly was mine. No one told me that I could not be an artist or that I had to make at least 75 grand per year except myself. I limited myself and never evaluated what I am passionate about. I’m grateful to be barely in my twenties and already figuring that out.
I still may change my mind about what I want to do, but that is alright. I kind of hope I have a few different careers.
When I grow up I want to be happy.
Check out a project I did in EMDA 201: Photoshop foundations. I hope you find it informative and aesthetically pleasing. Click here to see. 🙂