For many years, I would say that I was mentally unstable.
I had anxiety attacks, constant stress, bouts of depression, and I was consistently filled with a feeling of "what the fuck am I doing with my life."
I would hide these feelings from the outside world, but inside I was a constant mess.
These feelings would manifest into poor decisions, panicked outbursts or self destructive behavior.
Then about a year and a half ago, I started a practice that changed all of that.
I started writing morning pages.
At first when I heard about it, I was skeptical.
But after a year and a half, I can say that it has made all of the difference in my life.
It has grounded me.
It has brought mental clarity to my life.
And it has helped me understand myself better.
All of this mean less anxiety, stress and depression.
All of this means that I am a much happier and more stable person.
As I write this words, I am a different man than I was years ago, and morning pages was a pivotal part of that change.
What morning pages are
Morning pages are simple. It is the act of waking up and writing a free flow, stream of consciousness thought.
It means no censoring, no goal with your writing, just journaling and writing whatever comes to your head.
In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron goes into much more detail about the practice, and I highly recommend the read.
Yet my implementation of the pages is quite simple.
I wake up and write 1,000 words of just whatever is in my head. I type it on my computer and just get the thoughts out of my head.
Sometimes, I don't have much to write about and I just ramble on.
Other times, I find myself writing my way through some deep internal struggles or worries I am having.
Other times, I find myself writing about a challenging situation I find myself facing.
The morning pages take on many forms, but the key is that they help me work through things and come in tune with myself.
They give me a space to be alone with my thoughts.
Some people may prefer to pay for a therapist, but I would just rather counsel myself.
Give Morning Pages a shot
Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, try to not look at email, Facebook or do anything to actually start your day.
Instead, just sit down and start writing.
Just start writing whatever comes to your head.
Write about how you don't know what to write about if you have to.
The first few days may seem weird. You will find yourself wondering "Is this really worth the time?"
I had those same doubts early on, yet now that I am a year and a half into these morning pages, I can honestly say that these pages have been one of the most influential changes I have ever made in my life.
Update: 3+ Years after I wrote this post, I still use morning pages daily!