We’ve talked a lot about the benefits and importance of embracing slow thinking lately. Today I want to share one of my favourite ways to actually do it.
Let’s face it, it’s one thing to say that we want to be more deliberate with our thoughts. Actually doing it and making it a habit is an entirely different story. Today I want to share with you how journalling, or putting words down on paper, can help you get started.
How Journalling Can Help
Let’s start with the obvious. Writing things down takes time. This alone will make you slow down. But there’s more to it than that. Taking a pen in hand helps you focus your thoughts, which brings another benefit. Last but not least, we tend to slow down and think deeper before we put our thoughts and ideas into something more permanent, in black and white on paper.
Whenever you find yourself with a problem or an issue that takes some deeper thinking, get out a journal or even a blank sheet of paper and write down your thoughts. Don’t judge or edit. Just get it all out.
Stream of consciousness writing can be very helpful here. By getting it all out on paper, your thoughts will start to sharpen and clarify. It also gives you something to read through again a little later.
Go for a walk after you’ve finished writing it all down and then come back and read through it. Do you notice trends or opinions you weren’t consciously aware of? This can be great information to have.
Of course, I don’t want you to stop at writing your way through problems as they arise. After all, we started out talking about how journalling can help you practise and promote slow thinking on a regular basis.
Start by setting aside some time each day to journal. This can be in the quiet hours of the early morning, on your lunch break, or as a wind-down activity before you head to bed. Try different times and see what feels right.
You may also try playing around with the format you use for journalling. You can use a pen and paper. Start with an inexpensive notebook, or splurge on a nice leather-bound journal.
Try bullet journalling and more of a diary style of writing. Look around sites like Pinterest and Instagram to get ideas for different styles and give everything that seems interesting a try. Keep what works, ditch what doesn’t work. Use your journal to reflect on how your day is going.
The most important part is that you make journalling a daily habit. Make the time and just do it. Once you start to experience the benefits and see for yourself how it supports your slow thinking habit, you’ll be hooked.