How often have you felt like Dumbledore? That a Pensieve would be an incredibly self-therapeutic way to go about life? When your mind is full of everyday thoughts, worries and responsibilities and the ability to just liquidate these, store them into a bowl and move on seems like a God-given? The appreciation of Pensieves usually crops up when life is wearing you down.

When a rest just isn’t a rest anymore and when the morning creeps in and you’re still not sleeping because you can’t shut your thoughts off. Quite the opposite; it seems like your thoughts are whirling at 100mph when you get that moment to yourself which you intended for a nap. Having your eyes shut waiting for sleep to come seems like a chore and ultimately forced. Dreading it, you pick up your phone to check the time to see how many hours you have left to get ready for work. Your heart slips just a few inches when you do the maths. Yeah. A Pensieve would be a great idea.

What is a Pensieve?

For those of you who aren’t as nerdy as I am (that makes you a minority), a Pensieve is a ‘collection of memories of people who have siphoned their recollections into it’ (Harrypotterwikia). It always resonated with me as I had a habit of letting daily pressures get the better of me and revert to the good old skill I mastered during university; procrastination. When deadlines are approaching; coursework, dissertations and the dreaded presentations that you could have sworn were not part of the syllabus, which was half the reason you picked that module.

Using a pensieve

An outlet

So what does this have to do with the other? An outlet is simply that; an out. It gives release to the self-destructive emotions you have been storing. It gives those thoughts that are taking up your brain space at night an exit sign so that maybe, just tonight, you can get those 8 hours and won’t have to rely on 8 espressos filled in a medium sized coffee cup to get you started in the morning. No, you don’t have to pick up a paintbrush and a canvas only to realise you suck at drawing. If that is the outlet you are most drawn to then do so, but if your personal outlet pulls you towards a pen instead, grab it.

You don’t have to be a great writer; you don’t have to have a way with words because those words are just meant for you. The words you use from your vocabulary range are perfect because they are individual to you. So don’t feel put out when you have a read over a paragraph and it doesn’t sound like a dramatic reading of William Shakespeare.

Inhibitions

The key is not to succumb to inhibitions; the chance of someone reading your private thoughts, hurting someone else’s feelings or the worry of sounding like a moaning narcissist. As long as it’s true, don’t censor or play tug and pull with your thoughts. Put it all on paper and by all means, burn it if it gives you closure.

The beauty in presenting it as words on paper and not as thoughts in your mind is that it gives you room to analyse. There is a stronger sense of self-awareness when reading your own words back. There is a definite lack of it when it comes to your thoughts. Consider all the weird things you think about day in and day out including the general suspicion that you are indeed part of the matrix. As humans, we are all presented with life’s challenges but it is how we handle it that makes us grow as people. By simply picking up a pen and paper (or you know, something more 2017 like open a word document), you’d make your first step towards self-improvement.