How Journaling Can Help Men Process Their Emotions?
Men’s greatest weakness is their facade of strength, and
women’s greatest strength is their facade of weakness.
The habit of Journaling did sound absurd the first time I heard it as it does for most men. It is because we have an unmanly image of someone lying in flower comforters jotting down the words, “Dear diary”.
There is a deceptive thought that Journaling or keeping a diary is an uncanny thing to do. We men think we are too tough to keep a journal.
But history is littered with powerful men who kept journals, from Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Lee to Winston Churchill and Thomas Jefferson. They couldn’t be more different, yet these men had one thing in common – they found strength and comfort through writing down their thoughts.
Given its benefits to the mental and emotional wellbeing of a man, it’s not surprising how these men found strength and comfort from journaling.
The habit of Journaling can be more beneficial for men than women. The leading cause of death for men between the ages of 20 and 49 is suicide. The part of the problem is that men become depressed, they conceal their feelings and prefer not to seek help. While women are likely to confess their feelings and emotional pain to someone.
Not just during the depression, most of the men may want to keep their matters private, but a facade of strength, and prefer not to speak about it. For guys like us, Journaling could be a very helpful way to express our feelings. Also, it helps us to express matters you cannot share with others.
Roosevelt’s Journal entry the day his wife Alice died.
Professor James Penner, who specializes in social psychology, in his book “Opening up by writing it down, “explains
“By writing, you put some structure and organization to those anxious feelings. It helps you to get past them.”
How to overcome your struggles by Journaling
1. Building the habit of Journaling
Men who want to keep their matters private cannot just open a notebook and write how they feel. So start by writing what happened during your day.
Block a chunk of time every day to write your journal. At the start, you are likely to write down just silly things happening around and even if you had an issue or two you won’t write it at the beginning stage.
So write down the silly stuff, your thoughts, your happy experiences and memories, anything that you are open to talking about to people. It took me a month and a half to jump to the next step. This step helps you to build the habit of journaling.
2. Shaping it up
This question ” All I am journaling is about the silly stuff happening and it’s pretty much a routine. So why should I Journal?” Arises.
The answer I found was (or What I did was) took a break from journaling, did not quit but took a break from journaling.
By break I mean I stopped writing the silly stuff that happened in my journal as most of the things were routine and wrote only the special and happy moments, the principles or the code of ethics that I have. This made me journal only once a week or once in 15 days. Following this step will let you open up gradually.
3. Writing it down
What stops you from writing down your emotions is that the thought
Of others reading it (at least when you are alive).
So It’s important for you to take action as simple as hiding it in a place where no one looks at your home, or in a safe, asking your friend to take care of it after you are dead and by what means such as passing it down to your family or burning it.
It is completely your choice and there is nothing wrong with burning it down if it helps you to the journal. You could even ask your friend or a relative to publish part of your journals after your death to inspire others with your nuggets of wisdom.
Once you write down your emotions you will feel the relief it gives. Thereby never quit this habit understanding how powerful a tool it is for men like us.
Not convinced yet of what journaling can do for you? Here let me try once again.
A Great story is all about details
Journaling can help us to recall details and cherish our beautiful moments, even the little ones that happened decades ago. I believe a great story is all about details. Think about the story of Titanic for instance without those little mundane details.
Built the largest ship- it sailed – tipped the iceberg -sank.
But give it a perspective of how Rose meets Jack and falls in love. And what happens to them is what makes the Titanic an iconic story. Looking at the story we see “love”a mundane thing that happens in the life of every common man but is what keeps us interested still.
Journaling affirms a sense of life.
It tells a man how the things in their life are significant enough to be recorded. As each year passes by, our memory burns out and hazes off.
By age 80, you will only remember the faintest outline of the big things that happened in your life. But often the real interesting things are the little, seemingly mundane things in our life.
Every man who writes a journal hopes it will be read one day, maybe only after his death. But believes that, there is someone who will care enough about him and concern themselves for the things he cares about.
And who knows? Perhaps the whole world may be interested in your musings one day. You may not think so now, but how many knew they were going to become famous before they burst into the scene. And how many people have been celebrated after their death.
It becomes a trace after we leave the world
Think about billions of people who have and will perish without leaving a trace in the world. There could be a lot of materialistic, valuable things people might leave behind but there could be nothing more subjective than a journal. It will become tangible evidence that you were here! That you lived, loved!
You could ask your friend or a relative to publish part of your journals after your death to inspire others as I mentioned before.
Your children, grandchildren wants to read it
I know your life seems quite ordinary and of little interest to anyone else. When your great-grandpa was kicking it in the 1920s, he might have thought to himself, ” who would want to read about this new fangled radio or about the new bicycle … That’s boring stuff”. But it’s not boring anymore- not for this generation, for this, a sneak peek into those times is fascinating. And so it is with you.
What about social media journals
Social media can be an ample way to capture one’s life moments. Perhaps a way to record events in an instinctive manner without the exercise of slowing down and looking at the day as a whole.
It is a great way to record our memories as a whole. However, there is a tendency to write for the sake of others rather than writing our hearts. We try to self-present ourselves in a way that is important to us and also in a socially acceptable manner and favorable to followers.
So try to stick with the classic way of Journaling.
Journal can help us to slow down and take in the day. Expressing your thoughts as it is in your mind in a journal can help you release the steam off the day., you will start to feel more organized and best of all with a clearer mind. Building the habit of Journaling can be tiresome. But not too long you will see the fruitful outcome it yields.
You are likely to be open to the idea of Journaling after reading this article. Comment which reason convinced you the most? If you have any queries let’s discuss them in the comment section.