Keeping a diary is like preserving a treasure of memories. It is not only a process of self-expression but also self-reflection, says Dr Sandeep Govil, a Delhi-based psychiatrist.
A diary is the most effective tool to brainstorm and toss up ideas without being attached to an outcome, says Dr Sandeep. It has the potential to be both a therapist and a friend who listens without judging. A diary also helps in tracking a person’s pattern of behaviour which in turn allows an efficient response to challenges and helps in the achievement of goals. Writing a diary regularly helps in enhancing one’s problem-solving ability as well as creativity. It also helps in clarifying thoughts and feelings.
Dr Sandeep adds, “Writing a diary is an important means of self-expression. It is also a form of self-therapy that helps you to understand your feelings and get to know yourself better and discover whether you really want to change your way of thinking. Diaries are sometimes full of drawings that accentuate the actual text. Writing about your thoughts and feelings can help the brain to overcome an emotionally bad phase and leaves you feeling happier.
“Jotting one’s thoughts down on paper helps the brain to overcome stress, which reduces activity in the part of the brain called amygdala, keeping the intensity of emotions in control. It is a great way to relieve stress. Writing about sadness, anger and other similar emotions helps to reduce the intensity of these feelings. Regular writing can bolster the immune system, help to recover from traumatic events more successfully and ease frustrations.”
Sunday POST interacted with a few youngsters to know how keeping a diary has helped them:
Cuttack based Ananya Patnaik says, “Every year on New Year, my father used to gift me a diary. I am not sure when I started writing a diary. When I was a kid I used to write about my day and also use the diary as a reminder. But nowadays, I write to sort through emotions and to better understand my thoughts. A diary is like a friend who listens and holds your hand through the battle called life.”
Ananya feels that diary writing has helped her in many ways. “From small things like jotting down a reminder about things to do to bigger things like venting anger or frustration or sharing happiness, a diary has always been my constant companion. A diary helps me remember my past and plan my future,” she says.
Mumbai based Darasing Khurana has maintained a diary right from his school days. “Sometimes I feel like jotting down my thoughts, my observations of people and incidents, ideas and my experiences on a particular day. Keeping a diary has helped me a lot in self-expression and clear thinking,” he says.
“At times, referring to this diary months after something was written, connected incidents made me believe that we actually experience miracles, and we must accept and acknowledge them. Like many others, I too have jotted down my highs and lows in the diary, especially post my MBA. I had almost given up on being able to make it in the city of dreams and that’s when Mr India 2017 happened. Later, when I turned back the pages of my diary, I realised how pessimistic I had become. I realised that perseverance is the key to success. Everything falls into place at the right time,” he adds.
Mumbai based PR professional Dharmishta Dagia loves diaries so much that she has named her company ‘Dharmishtha’s Diary.’
“Since college days, I have written about the happenings in my life, and life itself, in my diary. But after I started working, my notes have all been about things to do. People these days use a-diary, phone or laptop to make notes, but I prefer the old school method. In fact, since August, I have started keeping three diaries, one for my PR and journalism work and photoshoots, one for other work like the YouTube channels I handle, events, celeb management and social media collaborations and the third one for household chores, personal work and routines need to follow a healthy lifestyle.”
Dharmishta feels that without a diary, her day would be chaotic. “While coordinating for a celebrity photoshoot, it is difficult to remember everything. There are always little details to take care of such as does an outfit need to be altered, have the accessories been finalised, has the media been informed and so on. So keeping a note of everything in the diary makes life easy, sorted and disciplined. I love diaries so much that I collect them. Besides, the name of my company is ‘Dharmishtha’s Diary’,” she smiles.
Shabiha Nur Khatoon, OP