Abundant Living, Mental Health

5 Reasons to Journal

January 22, 2020
Open journal with a pen in the middle

So, to start off this topic – 5 Reasons to Journal, let us first take the time to define journaling.

 

What is journaling?

Journaling is the process of recording one’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences.

Journals offer a way to track our progress, maturity, and growth through self-awareness, relationships, developmental stages, and life transitions. If done with true honesty and openness, journaling can help us uncover hidden truths, traumas, and beliefs that have unconsciously guided us in our lives.

Resist the urge to rush through the journaling process. There will be days when you write more. And some days, you may journal less. You do not necessarily have to journal everyday as long as it is a consistent regular schedule.

Journal in a quiet physical space so that you can hear your thoughts and stay in tuned with them. Choose the time of day that best suits you and your schedule.

Traditionally, journaling is taking pen to paper, but journaling can be done in any format that best suits your lifestyle. You can pick up a journal from any local bookstore, online at Amazon or any other online seller, and there are many apps that you can purchase, which include Day One and Journey.

 

Journaling is the process of recording one’s feelings, thoughts, & experiences. Usually, journaling is taking pen to paper, but it can be done in any format that best suits your lifestyle. Click To Tweet

 

Caution:

A journal is not a diary. A diary is typically meant to keep a record of things and oftentimes, its focus is on discretion.

A journal is an exploration; oftentimes, long-form writing where the focus is on freeform writing. When our emotional guard is down, our thoughts and feelings tend to flow freely and so we can explore our feelings and emotions, rather than just record events.

This process deepens self-awareness and encourages emotional growth and maturity and encourages us to learn from our past experiences.

 

Top 5 Reasons to Journal Click To Tweet

 

Top 5 Reasons to Journal

  •  Let’s face it…we are all busy and stressed.

We spend all our days running around like a chicken without its head. Most people would say that they are too busy to sit down with pen and paper. But this is exactly why we need to journal.

Many of people will get to the developmental stage of older adulthood and will end up with a lot of regrets and painful mistakes because they will get there and realize that their lives have passed them by.

Their lives have been too busy that they did not take the time to keep track of the important moments in their lives. They will spend their lives doing busy work that does not matter in the end. When they start approaching the end of their lives, those moments that mattered the most will have come and gone, and they will have nothing to show for it.

 

  • Journaling protects our psychological health.

When we feel overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated, we are operating from a place of lack and empty.

In the busy social media landscape that we are wading through, it is quite easy to experience burnout. The term ‘burnout’ may be commonly associated with helping careers, but the truth is anyone can experience burnout. When we are so busy, we do not take the time to check in with and to monitor ourselves and our emotions.

Just because we are not exploring our feelings and emotions, does not mean that they are not there. Emotional buildup is experienced by everyone. Journaling provides a cathartic and nonjudgmental form of emotional release and it frees up space in our minds to focus on other things.

 

  • Journaling can change your life literally.

Most people set goals and never take steps towards them. Journaling can be used to:

Reflect, set goals, measure progress, adjust, and repeat.”

Journaling is multi-functional. It can be used to set and achieve professional, personal, spiritual, psychological, and physical goals.

If you set one intention/goal for a week or month and consistently do this, you can monitor your progress to learning a new language or developing a new hobby or side hustle.

Journaling helps you develop and maintain self-awareness, keeps you focused on your vision and path, and shows you when you are slacking or procrastinating.

It allows you flexibility by giving you insight into your true thoughts and feelings, and helps you to quickly recognize when you need to pivot or change directions.

 

  • Journaling builds creativity and intention.

To be brutally honest, most people live their entire lives controlled by others.

“Not consciously controlled, but subconsciously.”

Most people have not taken the time to craft how they spend their days or weeks which turns into months and years.

They wake up by a jarring alarm clock, spend time on social media tuned in to others’ highlight reel, then spend half of the day complaining about how tired they are or about how much they hate the job they must go.

Many people spend almost no time on personal and self-development and are always complaining about their lives. They spend their lives working on other people’s dreams and answering to others but are never accountable to themselves or anyone.

Anything of value in life comes at a price. If we want to exercise, to build wealth and cut debt, lose weight, or whatever the goal, they all require self-sacrifice and discipline.

Sacrifice and discipline are hard work. Most people are not willing to do the work. It takes intention to make goals become reality, instead of remaining a wish.

To come full circle, journal is a mental exercise that builds flexibility, self-awareness, discipline, and intention.

It takes discipline to set a schedule or goal and stick to it, and it takes intention to sacrifice the instant gratification of giving into your feelings, and instead focus on the delayed gratification.

 

  • Writing is a tool available to everyone.

It is one of the most – if not the most – therapeutic and free tool that is available to everyone.

This is an assignment that I give to my clients who are old enough to do this task. I find that many people are unsure of themselves, unaware of what they have been doing with themselves and their time and are unsure about their future.

Writing helps people to find their inner voice. Writing helps you to develop the skills of critiquing, evaluating, discerning, listening, and communicating. It helps people to build their sense of self by developing awareness of who they are, what they believe in, and what values they hold dear.

 

Now, what are you waiting for? Get started by picking up a journal via Amazon or any local bookstore.

Photo credit: Aaron Burden/Unsplash

 

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