Over the last few weeks I’ve been using a website called 750words.com, which is a website designed for writers or people who like to journal but don’t like writing on paper to get a certain amount of words written every day. 750 words apparently evens out to about one standard A4 sheet of paper filled with words, and I have to say, it has been an extremely useful tool.
In August, my anxiety just kept getting the better of me and I was struggling to keep it in check. I don’t like when this happens as I end up feeling like I’m rabbiting on to Mr OneBigStressball non-stop and that one day he’ll just tire of me and ask me to stop talking. Also, I don’t like how I feel when I overthink and overanalyze situations that are partly out of my control yet also made worse by my brain concocting scenarios that won’t necessarily play out. 750words.com helped me put into words how exactly I was feeling and my thoughts on the whole situation and how it would impact my life, without me having to spend hours at my desk with a notebook, journaling like I’d normally do. It allowed me to word-vomit onto the page, let my anger and frustration out, and walk away from the computer feeling like a small weight had been lifted from my shoulders, if even for a small amount of time.
On top of this, as I am currently knee-deep in the process of trying to write my first book, 750words.com was great for any time I felt like my brain was a bit fuzzy. I’ve come to starting each writing session with a jaunt at 750words.com to get my initial thoughts and muddled ideas onto the screen, and then once my head had cleared of whatever fog has gathered throughout the day, I switch back to writing the main prose for my book. Within these 750 words I write in a day, it’s interesting – if sometimes a bit unnerving – to see what ideas are subconsciously manifesting themselves in my lil’ brain.
Anyway, let me stop rambling and come to the point of this post. I’ve recently been going through the ‘archives’ of what’s been save on my 750words.com account, and came across a page that is literally just lines upon lines of random objects and things in life. This was my ‘What Gives Me Joy’ page of writing. At the time of writing, I was feeling myself beginning to fall down a deep, painful hole of anxiety and anger, and didn’t know how I was going to get myself out of the funk of negative emotions and thoughts. It was terrifying. I was putting on my mask – of smiling and seeming happy – every morning but could feel it slipping, and it was worrying to me.
I remember the day I wrote that post. I barely even had to think about it. I set myself the task of writing down everything I could think of within the space of 5 minutes, and was surprised at how much stuff I came up with. When I’d finished, I felt a weird sense of calm coming over me – I have so many things to be grateful for; so many things that bring me joy on a day-to-day basis. It was cathartic, in a way. We focus so much on the negatives that penetrate our daily lives we forget the things that bring a smile to our faces. I’m going to share below what I’d actually written down – this is non-edited, and not changed at all, the list below is exactly what I wrote in the exact order, and it only took me five minutes.
The first sip of wine after a long day; watching the Great British Bake Off; going to the gym; climbing hills; listening to podcasts; listening to music; hot chocolate; reading; napping; giggling; belly laughs; sharing wine with friends; Ian’s sleeping face; Ian’s giggle; drunk Ian; Ian’s smile; Ian dancing; Ian; spending time with friends and family; my family; hearing good stories on the news; baking; cooking; dancing; singing along to good music; a nice view; cuddles; hugs; kissing; that thing Ian does when I’m sad and he holds my head and looks into my eyes; holding hands; inside jokes; writing; eating; Chinese food; sushi; new clothes; the smell of new books; a good armchair; a good bookshop; new nails; a fresh haircut; the first use of a new mascara; chocolate; peanut butter; the warm feel of paper straight out the printer; comedy shows; cinema trips; sunsets; a bank account that isn’t empty; a soft cardigan; lie-ins; fluffy socks; kindness; joy; compassion; new stationery; funny movies; random days off work; smiles;garlic bread; pasta; carbs; long walks…
That was where my timer went off, but I would definitely have been able to add more.
Sometimes, you just need to write down a couple of things that bring a smile to your face, and it will make you feel better. It is so difficult to shift your attention and focus onto mainly the good in your life, rather than the bad, like we’ve been conditioned all our lives to do. However, if you try, even just once in a while, to look around you and take in how much of it brings joy to your life, you might find your life is a heck of a lot better than you’ve been feeling it is.