Are you looking for a more effective way to organise your thoughts, reduce stress, harness creativity and set achievable goals? Are you feeling overwhelmed by emotions and feelings but don't know how to express yourself? Keep telling yourself you are going to make changes in your life but never see them through? Well, journaling is for you! You're probably thinking, "How can journaling help?" Keeping a journal is a powerful habit that can help you change your life in many ways.
Here’s why keeping a journal will help you in your daily lives:
Helps You Reduce Your Stress
Journaling serves as a great way to reduce stress. If you have a problem, you may be stressed about, keeping a journal can help you pinpoint the factors that are causing that stress or anxiety. Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions release the intensity of these feelings and alleviates the tension of holding onto these burdens. The act of journaling daily or even weekly eases the symptoms of depression and anxiety by allowing you to explore the experiences that make you anxious. By doing so, you will feel more peaceful and able to stay in the present, which will, in turn, directly impact your health and happiness in a positive way.
Keep Your Thoughts Organised
Feeling overwhelmed or don't know how to express your thoughts verbally? Journaling can help you release those thoughts that are jumbled, repressed or confusing by allowing you to express yourself raw, unfiltered and unedited. You can create journals for specific topics and record daily thoughts, like the feelings you had about a certain experience, or the opinions you had about a specific event. There is no limit as to what you can write about in your journal. Journals can help you reflect on the time you spent travelling with family, remind you of a business you wanted to start, or lead you to a more grateful mindset with deep written reflection. Whatever you decide to write about, writing in a journal helps you go through your cluttered thoughts by organising them into daily thoughts, notes, lists, memories, stories and more.
Allows You to Self-Reflect
Keeping a journal is a great way to know yourself more deeply. By writing routinely, you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will find it easier to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about certain situations and people. Journaling may allow you to find triggers or traumas that hinder your personal goals. Journaling with complete transparency gives you the chance to take a step back and self-reflect. You may begin to see patterns in your behaviour or the behaviour of others. As you self-reflect, you can also look back and observe the person you used to be and gain the necessary inspiration and motivation to keep on progressing. Therefore, keeping a journal can improve your self-awareness.
Set Goals and Achieve Them
People who journal on a regular basis have greater motivation to accomplish their goals. Writing about your goals regularly helps in instilling them not only in your conscious mind but in your subconscious as well. However, to maximise this benefits of journaling, it is important to use it as a tool to help propel yourself into action. You won't achieve your goals by simply writing about them: you have to take the necessary steps to accomplish them. Keeping a journal will help you on this journey. It will help you pinpoint exactly what your goals are and the steps you're going to take to complete them. It may seem difficult to determine what your goals are, and the steps needed to see them through, but when you journal, you naturally begin to look forward, and the next steps become easier to see. You can monitor your progress and continue to encourage yourself by documenting new developments and accomplishments, which will help you complete your short-term and long-term goals.
Lacking creativity and feeling uninspired? Journaling is the perfect way to find inspiration and creativity. Your journal serves as a place to write down any and everything that comes to mind. The crazier the idea, the better! Let your imagination run wild and wander to those parts of your mind that are untapped. The more you write with no specific rules or barriers, the more you will be inspired by the possibilities and opportunities that only you can imagine. Keeping a journal is a great way to help your creativity flourish.
Ongoing Record of Progress
Sometimes, you forget those successful moments that motivate you to continue going when you are frustrated or unmotivated. There are times when you may feel like you have not accomplished anything despite all the invested effort and energy. During those moments, it is helpful to take the time to look back and be reminded of our past accomplishments. This promotes personal growth by developing a record of crucial lessons and ideas that you've discovered on your own, which will serve as an ongoing private record to help you remember everything.
How Do I Begin Keeping a Journal?
Journaling is most effective if you do it for twenty minutes on the daily, but it's ok if you aren't able to dedicate to writing in your journal daily, just as long as you have a consistent schedule that suits your lifestyle and routine. There are no rules to journaling; you have complete control over the types of journal you keep. From topic-based, like travel or dream journals, to a general journal where there is no specific topic, you can write about absolutely anything. Just do what is most convenient for you. There is no right or wrong way of keeping a journal.
To maximise your journaling experience, keep these things in mind:
- Commit to a writing schedule, whether it's daily, weekly or monthly.
- Choose a medium for journaling (blog, app, notepad, bound notebook, etc.).
- Care more about substance and less about style. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just write down your thoughts.
- Be completely transparent with yourself. This is your special place to allow your thoughts to pour out without judgement.
- Don’t edit anything. Forget spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Keep your journal in a private place.
Struggling with what you want to write? Here are 10 journal writing prompts to get you started:
- Dear Journal, 5 things I am grateful for are...
- I love myself because…
- My favourite memory is…
- 10 things I’m really good at are…
- If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would be…
- 1 thing I wish I was better at is…
- I am inspired by…
- I want to be remembered for…
- I feel most happy when…
- My perfect day is…
About the Author
MONIQUE L. SPEARMAN is a freelance multi-faceted writer, curator and creator. Blending a passion for content creating, social media marketing, photography and travel, Monique created her blog website RaineyAmore.com in the spring of 2017 as a hobby. Raineyamore.com is a lifestyle, fashion, beauty and travel brand that encourages men and women from around the world to live their best lives, out-loud. Inspired by the aesthetics of different cultures, Monique wants to show the world, "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it!"