Journaling provides a great way to organize your thoughts, clarify important life questions, and focus on what you truly want out of life.
I discovered the joys of journaling when I was a little kid. Back then, I called it my “private diary” that no one was allowed to access. I filled it up with random childhood musings that felt like epic events in my young life. In my 40's, journaling became a necessary part of my daily routine. During that time, I experienced multiple life transitions simultaneously that shook up my world. Simply put, too much going on at once, and I needed to deposit my thoughts in one place. It was then I rediscovered my love of journaling.
The insights and shifts I experienced by consistently writing what was swirling around in my head were life-changing. It's why I encourage my coaching clients to incorporate journaling in their daily lives.
While some people feel like the practice of journaling is not worth the time or effort (BTW, it requires little time), there are so many valuable benefits; it's worth giving it a try. Journaling is a great way to get clarity and even improve your mental health. Here's my list of the 5 Best Reasons You Should Start Journaling.
Journal To Process Your Thoughts and Feelings
Things become a little clearer when you can get your thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper. The act of writing provides what I like to call ‘breathing room' in your mind. The space you create allows you to:
- See things more clearly or from a different perspective.
- Be more realistic and objective about your circumstances.
- Find a possible answer or solution to a question or problem.
Journal To Work Towards A Goal
Keeping a daily journal about the progress you've made towards your goal will help reaffirm why the goal is important to you. It will also keep your goal top of mind, so you don't set it and forget it.
- Keeping a journal will hone your ability to focus on important tasks and improve your ability to maintain a productive mindset during the day.
- Recording your goal progress may spark new ideas that will move you forward and closer to achieving your goal.
- Once you've achieved your goal, you'll be able to look back and remember the lessons you learned along the way and how great it felt to accomplish what you set out to do.
- Knowing your process will make your next goal a little bit easier to map out and achieve. You'll feel empowered to set and meet the goals you need to thrive in life.
Journal to Brainstorm Solutions
There are times when you may encounter obstacles or setbacks as you're pursuing something you desire in your life.
Journaling becomes a helpful tool to knock down the obstacles getting in your way. Writing out what you're experiencing can lead to breakthroughs and solutions that you hadn't considered before. You'll begin to see your situations in a new light and move towards creating a new path to move forward.
Journaling To Reduce Stress
Journaling is a form of self-care in my world. It forces you to unplug, focus your mind and free your thoughts. Taking steps to minimize stress is essential for being as productive and healthy as possible. Recent research has shown that journaling can be a powerful tool for fighting stress and maintaining a healthy mindset. Creating time for journaling reduce feeling overwhelmed.
Journal for Self-Discovery
Journaling can help you discover or rediscover yourself. You can learn more about what you like and don't like and why. You'll start to understand how your wiring and what you want to create more of in the world.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed or stuck in a rut and want to get clarity before making your next move. Journaling consistently can help open you up to realizations, revelations, and possibilities. Simply writing out what you're experiencing in your life can lead to breakthroughs you hadn't considered before. Through journaling, you'll feel encouraged to see things in a new light.
When it comes to journaling, there's no right or wrong way to do it. There are many different types of journaling techniques available to try. If you're starting, keep it simple by trying freewriting:
All you need is a pen, notebook and a few minutes a day. Find a quiet space, a comfortable place, open your journal and write whatever comes to your mind. Make an effort always to keep your hand moving, even if it means repeating the same thought over and over. In the beginning, aim for 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted time.
(The morning pages exercise created by Julia Cameron inspires this practice of freewriting.)
Journaling is a creative activity that can keep you organized, increase your creativity, guide you through bold breakthroughs and help you stay motivated. Journal consistently and take time to ask yourself what you want in life and why. Doing so is not only a form of self-care but also a gesture of self-love.