Journaling. Some of us had diaries growing up with the little key. Or maybe you had the composition notebooks. Remember actually using them to write down what was going on in your life.
What happened between then and now to make so many of us stop writing. I really don’t know. Maybe we didn’t think it was important or worthy of our time any more. Maybe we thought only kids do that, but believe it or not the kids had something going for them.
I have rediscovered journaling and its benefits are abundant. After just one session of journaling you can feel so benefits.
Lets go over real quick how to journal.
How to Journal
- Get a notebook to write in and a pen.
- Set aside 30 minutes in your day to write.
- Write what ever comes to mind for 30 minutes.
If you struggle with writing your thoughts, and feel that nothing comes to mind, try the 30 Days of Journal Prompts.
30 Days of Journal Prompts
Subscribe to get a list of journaling prompts. Experience the benefits of journaling for yourself.
While writing you can experience some immediate benefits that bring you to a better place. Some of the benefits I have experienced are below.
Process Previous Events
Life can be happening so fast that we don’t get an opportunity to actually process what we have experienced, this goes for the good and bad. As you write about the days events and your journey through life you can actually process what has happened.
Clarify My Thinking
Overwhelm is often a battle for most of us. So many competing tasks, emails, and important things todo. It can be paralyzing. Journaling has been a sanctuary from the overwhelm storm, as I write out what my values are, my priorities, and the things that are important to me.
I can see that there will always be things to do. But based on my values things rise to the top of the pile that will be done first.
I have also journaled and discovered that my previous job was not for me. That I had greater ambitions and wants. It has helped me get here.
Notice My Feelings
This is similar to being able to processing events. Sometimes we don’t get an opportunity to experience our emotions about a situation until we sit with it, and write about it.
I have discovered my immense love for other human beings, when I have sat down to write about them. I didn’t know that I actually felt so strongly, until I wrote it out.
There are also benefits that you receive after journaling day after day. You may not get an immediate “aha” from. But, you will realize later that you have grown and developed skills that are making you a better person.
Long Term Benefits
There are so many positive skills that can be built by journaling. Below are a few.
Journaling is a present activity. While you are writing the past anxieties and future worries will lose their edge.
I have found that when you write about experiences gaining perspective is easier.
You often include your dreams and ambitions when journalling. This doesn’t mean that the dreams will just happen because you wrote them down. But, you will have more understanding, and a blueprint of a your dreams and why you want them. This helps you take action and keep motivated.
Writing on the same topic over and over will help you gain clarity and focus on what you want and why. Also, it is a great place to brainstorm how you will get there.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive and manage your emotions. Journaling is an outlet for your emotions and place to sort them all out. When you increase your level of self-awareness with yourself and your emotions you can empathize with others on a deeper level.
Strengthen Your Self-Discipline
Setting aside time every day to journal is a discipline that has to be honed. Discipline begets discipline. It is like a muscle that has to be used, and strengthened. When you develop self-discipline in one part of your life it often seeps and spreads to other areas of your life.
Writing is a way to put amorphous thoughts and traumas into graspable experiences. When we take them out of our head we are able to stop over thinking them. I know I have experience a huge emotional release in anxiety and stress.
Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages is the go to for unlocking your creativity. The simple premise behind the book is to write without thinking for 3 pages a day, every day. From it your creativity will grow and be nurtured. I have seen my ability to write more, explode from this practice.
Journaling about positive experiences makes your brain relive it. By making a daily log of positive experiences or lists of gratitude you can boost your self-esteem by reliving these moments. It is also, a book to look back upon when you needing an extra boost.
Journaling can have amazing benefits on your mind and abilities. What have you discovered about yourself from journaling, let us know in the comments below.