Going through a rough patch? Hard day? Hard life?
When life throws you a curveball it’s tempting to stay in bed and blame the world for your bad luck.
Or… you can do something productive, that doesn’t take a lot of time, and help yourself up out of the trenches.
That something is Journaling.
You hear people talk about journaling all the time. “Journaling is so good for you!! You should try it.”
It’s almost cult-like in some circles.
Isn’t it just writing some words on paper? What’s the big deal?
Maybe you resist because your handwriting sucks or you’re not a good speller. None of that matters. Journaling is for your eyes only.
And it can help you in several ways. More ways than I’ll be able to list here. But let’s go over a few of the big benefits.
1. Achieve More Goals
Life is hectic right? You’re busy, you’re overwhelmed, you have so much to do. It’s easy to lose track of all the irons in the fire.
It’s stressful. And when you don’t achieve your goals, it’s depressing.
Journaling helps with that.
Not only will it help you get clear on your goals and help you track your progress, but it can also show you what’s holding you back from achieving those goals. Where are you making the same mistakes over and over?
What needs to take first priority and what can wait? What means the most to you? These are good questions to reflect on while journaling.
2. Improve Your Relationship with Yourself
Who are you? What’s important to you and why?
Do you have any idea who that person is residing within you? Most people live on autopilot. They go from one task to the next without ever stopping to look at the bigger picture.
Journaling helps you hear your own voice, explore the person you are and the thoughts you have floating around in that head of yours.
Over time you’ll get to know yourself better, and if done right you might start to like yourself more. It’s easier to love yourself when you understand why you do the things you do and see it’s not all your fault.
Journaling helps explore those trails, helps you figure out where it’s all stemming from.
To do that, all you need to remember is to keep asking why. Why do I hate that? Why does it bother me when he does that? Why do I care? Why don’t I care? Why is the key.
3. Similar Benefits to Meditation
Maybe you’ve always wanted to be someone that meditates but you find it hard to sit still and do nothing. That’s okay, you’re not the only one.
But did you know there are similar benefits to meditation gained from journaling?
In an article called “The Simple Joy of Writing,” Barbara Bash writes “It is something about the physical act – the holding of the hand and pen – that is meditative, bringing me into the present.”
Think about it, meditation is hard because it’s hard to quiet the mind. There’s too much going on in there. Too many thoughts bouncing around. So, get the thoughts out.
Write the thoughts down. Empty the mind. If you do it for this reason alone, you’ll notice huge benefits.
4. Enhance Creative Expression
If you’re a creative person, or even if you wouldn’t describe yourself that way, writing helps with creativity.
In the case of a creative person, like a writer or an artist, this is extremely helpful.
But even people who are lawyers or doctors can benefit from creativity. Maybe there’s a problem in the office and no one has been able to come up with a solution. If you journal, that creativity can help you come up with a solution.
It can help you think outside the box in all kinds of ways.
In parenting, in work, in friendships, or even what you want to make for dinner.
It’s fun to add creativity. It makes for a happier, more adventurous life.
5. Reduce Stress
Here’s the big benefit.
Much like not being able to quiet your mind to meditate, you might struggle with controlling stress.
It builds up and you let it go round and round in your head, never getting to a solution. Instead, you just become more agitated.
Write the stresses down.
Ask, “What can I not control?” Out of those stresses, which ones are out of your control?
Then follow it with “What am I in control of?” And answer that too. Then, come up with some ways you might be able to fix the things you can control.
There’s something about seeing it on paper that helps you get it straight in your head.
Not only that, but it also helps you vent. It helps you see when you’re actually mad, or when you’re just being extra.
You don’t have to know how to journal to start journaling.
Just start doing it.
Pick a time every day and write.
You can write about anything you want.
You can keep the journals, or you can burn them.
You can write them with pen and paper or on the computer.
There’s no wrong way. And the benefits will blow your mind.
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