5 Benefits of Journaling

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I recall keeping a journal/diary as early as the age of six (I got it as a birthday present). To be honest, I’ve actually kept all the journals I’ve used throughout the years. Of course back then my handwriting was horrible, I misspelled almost everything and I’d write about unamusing events like “June 14, 2000: Today I went to the mall.” Still, it became a habit that stuck with me ever since. One of the things I’ve grown fond of is rereading my entries after months or years. I’ve found it both entertaining and bewildering — realizing on many occasions that I’ve overreacted about little things, the type of things that wouldn’t make me upset now.

Journaling has helped me in different ways. What I’ve noticed is it’s been most effective when using notebook and pen. I’ve tried online journaling, there are great sites such as Penzu, but I rather stick to the old-school version. There’s nothing more freeing than being able to scribble your thoughts, not limiting it to words but also illustrations. (I’m sorry trees).
 
Here are 5 benefits that I’ve found in journaling:
 
  1. Know yourself better: By writing down about what’s been bothering or bringing you joy, you’ll be able to detect patterns in your emotions and behaviors. Must emphasize though that in order to for this to work, it doesn’t rely solely on writing but also taking your time to read it later.
  2. Ramble without hesitation: As an introvert, I’m naturally a reserved person. On occasions I do vent with those who are closest to me. But there are times when I simply don’t want to bother anyone or the people I want to talk to don’t have time. That’s when your journal comes in handy, plus it won’t be judging you.
  3. Clear your mind: If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed because so many thoughts are crossing your mind, writing them down will help you think in a more linear way. Even if you don’t find a solution right away, you will feel much more relieved afterward.
  4. De-stress: This is rather a consequence of all of the above. By expressing yourself you’re releasing any tension that has been holding you back. Think of it like a mini-spa in a piece of paper.
  5. Creativity booster: Last but not least, I’ve realized that while writing I’ve come up with creative pieces, such as fiction, poetry and even blog post ideas. Although I rarely share these writings and I haven’t actually blogged all of the ideas that have occurred to me, keeping them in a notebook is like having an archive I can go back to anytime.
Have you tried journaling before? Let me know in the comments!

Reason, Season or Lifetime

La Luna Vita Blog
I recently found out about the Reason, Season or Lifetime theory/poem. (I know, I know, where have I been all this time? Under a rock? Well, no — at work actually). The first time I read about it was in an article from Hello Giggles, Sophia Bush mentioned the concept in an interview. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting topic because it’s true. It states that people come into our lives for either three different motives:

  • Reason: You encounter someone for a brief period. Whether it’s good or bad, the relationship doesn’t last long and the whole purpose is for you to learn a lesson. 
  • Season: Though it’s said to be short term, I see it rather mid term, since it can last up to years. This person will play a role in defining your personality.  
  • Lifetime: The name says it all, they will be in your life for many years. It can be a friend, a partner or a family member. 

Now, I personally believe that this not only applies to people, but to situations in general. Life has different stages, where you go through certain moments that define you. These moments are not limited to human relations, but the context as a whole plays an important part. From attending college, to a part-time job or even a simple stroll in the park. You reflect and learn from experiences, some that you may face entirely on your own.
That would be all for now, ’til next time! 

Personalities

 

La Luna Vita
Flowers in Seville – 2014
Hello there! So on an unrelated subject, I came across this website called Human Metrics were you can take a personality test. According to Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ theory, there are 16 personality types. It basically divides and categorizes the types of introverts and extroverts. It’s possible to have a combination two personality types, but one always predominates. As a psychologist, it might be strange that I don’t post much about psychology related subjects. That is because the intention of this blog was to write about other types of topics, such as product reviews and beauty DIYs.
Many online personality tests are not trustworthy. However, I found the accuracy of this test to be quite impressive –which is why I wanted to share it. My results were that I have the INFJ personality. It stands for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging. It describes me really well. I think these types of test are interesting and insightful. You can get to know yourself a little better. It can also help you answer some doubts and questions you’ve had about yourself. There is always an explanation for your thoughts and feelings. And as weird as it may seem, there are many things we do not fully know about ourselves.

Review + 6 lessons from Sarah Dessen novels

La Luna Vita Blog
Finally! I just finished reading “What Happened to Goodbye” by Sarah Dessen. In order not to spoil it I won’t get into much detail. Overall, I enjoyed the story. The main character is a girl named Mclean, she’s in her senior year. Over the last few years, since her parents divorced, she’s been moving a lot. That is because she went to live with her dad and he gets relocated frequently due to his job. In every city she would go to, she’d change her name and personality. But, this time in Lakeview, things are different. (If you’ve read Sarah’s novels, you know Lakeview is where all the drama happens). It wasn’t as romantic as some of her previous novels. Mclean does meet a guy named Dave. But she realizes many things about herself and life not only because of him, but also due to her new friends and the communication with her parents.
I have read a total of six novels by Sarah Dessen over the years. Dreamland, That Summer, The Truth About Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and lastly What Happened to Goodbye. Every book was different, but they did have some aspects in common. Here are 6 lessons that the novels have taught me:

1. No one’s life is perfect: everyone has issues in their family and personal life, you’re not the only one.
2. Disappointment is part of the journey: perhaps even the people closest to you might end up hurting you, either intentionally or unintentionally.
3. Open yourself to others: there will always be people willing to help you, but in order to achieve this, you must be honest with your feelings and speak out.
4. Don’t judge others too quickly: every person you meet can teach you something, and sometimes the person you least expect will be the one supporting you.
5. Self-discovery does not happen overnight: it takes time to learn from experiences. As you get to know yourself better, certain things about you change, which is just part of the process.
6. Life goes on: In the end, you have to continue focusing on your next goal. Even if some things do  go wrong, that doesn’t mean you should give up. Move on to the next chapter, there are better things ahead.
P.S. I know by far that she is not the best author, however I always find the plot of her novels quite appealing. Now next on my list is “Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins.

 

Disconnect to connect

Balconies in Monaco – Trip to Europe Aug. ’14
Haven’t you ever felt the need to get away from all these technological devices that surround us in our everyday lives? I know I have. Internet users have an average of 5 social media accounts. It’s pretty crazy considering that ten years ago people were content using emails and MySpace on a PC. Now it’s become a must-have and the access has never been easier– our smartphones. But if you think about it, is it really necessary?

I’ve been having thoughts lately about the way I use my social networks. Last semester, in the class of Communication Practices, we saw a topic about the “kidnapping of the experience“. The author, Anthony Giddens, discussed how in today’s society everything has become superficial and that the immediate access to information affects our daily activities. For example, on many occasions, I’ve seen people more concerned about taking the perfect selfie or picture of their dinner plate, than actually enjoying the moment. Afterwards they’re hardly interacting, their eyes glued to the screen of their phones. If they don’t share it, they’re not living it.

That’s what the author refers to, your experience figuratively gets kidnapped by social media. I know it sounds odd, but is it not true? After reading about this topic, I decided that I didn’t want to be like these people. If I’m traveling somewhere new, I want to get to know the place –not show it off on Instagram. That doesn’t mean that I won’t take pictures or that I won’t post it. It just means that I’ll enjoy the moment first before sharing it with everyone else.

Less posting, more living. 

Two weeks

It’s been two weeks since he’s gone. The first few days were tough. It’s weird waking up in the morning and not seeing him sleeping in the hallway outside my door. Coming home to an empty place every evening is something I’m slowly getting used to. I know most people say “it’s just a pet”, but he was way more than that. 10 years of loving memories. Being an only child, he was like my little brother. Given that he was a Shih Tzu, I’d thought that he’d live longer, the breed lives an average of 12 to 14 years. Unfortunately I was wrong, every doggo’s has a different lifespan.

Kuky (pronounced cookie) was seriously the best companion I could have asked for. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if other people also have a hard time coping with the loss of their pets. What’s certain is that time heals everything.

I’ll never forget you buddy ❤