Personal Experiment 9: Getting To Know Your Mind Via Journaling

Xue Zing
6 min readJul 31, 2021
Image from Unsplash by David Iskander

When I was a kid, diaries were in fashion.

People would write about their day and thoughts. These diaries were kept private, a secret from even your closest ones.

It was so popular that the schoolwork some teachers give was to do a weekly diary.

I found the entire concept to be ridiculous and dumb.

Why would anyone write their innermost thoughts on a piece of paper, giving it the risk of being seen by other people?

Furthermore, people were saying, keep diaries, keep diaries but no one explained the why or how to write them.

It was years later when I got exposed to the term called journaling did I understand why people kept diaries those days.

Awareness of the issue,

There were two reasons that made me turn towards journaling.

The first was I was looking for a way to reduce stress and anxiety and my previous experiment didn’t seem to be showing effect.

The second was I was researching the concept of morning routines at that time and this habit was highly recommended by a few of my favorite writers Benjamin Hardy, PhD in this article and Tim Ferriss in this post.

It seemed that journaling, among other benefits, could reduce worry and generate ideas as well.

Weren’t those the goals of Personal Experiment 3 and Personal Experiment 5 ?

Furthermore, all I needed was a small bit of time each day and a book?

I would be able to take a new approach with the aim of achieving two previous objectives at a minimal cost.

I was sold.

Goal Setting,

The overarching goal was to reduce stress and build ideas quickly.

And the sub-goal was to see actually learn how to journal.

Time to put the details into the concept.

How much to write?

How often to write?

How to write?

These were the three most important questions.

Xue Zing

Writing about thought provokers that go against conventional self-help