I have always been aware of the idea of journaling but I have never heard it advocated as a practice as much as I have this year. I am sure that is due to the challenging year that this has been. Journaling has been suggested by many as a healthy way to process the many emotions that may be felt during these times. Many people often confuse keeping a journal with keeping a diary. They are similar but the main difference is that a diary is a record of what happened. A journal is a record of your thoughts and feelings. There are several benefits to journaling.
Journal to Relieve Anxiety and Stress
Have you ever had so much on your mind that it was just too much to process? And after you talked it out you realized that your issue was not as bad as you thought? Journaling is similar to talking something out with a friend. Anxiety and stress can be eased when you write out your thoughts concerning those things that are making you anxious. Journaling can provide you with clarity if it is a decision or circumstance that is causing you stress. Writing out your thoughts on the issue that is making you anxious could greatly assist you with solving the issue or allowing you to see the big picture. Either of these outcomes can ease stress and anxiety.
Journal to Recognize Patterns
Whether we realize it or not, we all have patterns. If you talk to your friends about a situation enough they can probably tell you where the situation is headed based on similar conversations. Journaling can help you see those patterns for yourself. As you write about how different situations make you feel or your thought process around certain decisions, you will begin to notice patterns. You may notice that use negative self-talk or you may notice that you do not have as much confidence in yourself as you should. Patterns can be seen as you write and then reflect on those things that you have written. Reading past entries can provide you a new perspective on your behavior.
Journal to Become Empowered
Journaling can give you a sense of empowerment as you can write your deepest, most intimate thoughts. Whether writing about your experiences or through journal prompts, you will begin to gain more clarity on how you think and how certain experiences have shaped you. Journaling can help you discover more about yourself. You can discover what makes you happy, what causes you stress, as well as those aspects of yourself that you wish to improve. Discovering your personal strengths and the power you possess in these strengths is a wonderful feeling. But discovering those areas that you may need to work on to enhance your personal growth can be life changing.
Journal to Track Goals
Journals can help you track progress toward an established goal. After identifying your goal, a journal can help you determine both your good and bad habits that may be helping or hindering you from achieving your goal. It could be your innermost thoughts or the company you keep but reflecting on past journal entries will help you to begin to see what your barriers are. Likewise, you will be able to see who or what promotes a healthy path to your goals. You will be able to learn a lot about yourself in the process and this will make future goals easier to achieve.
Journal In a Safe Zone
Have you ever just wanted to be brutally honest with someone regarding the way you felt but was leery due to the judgment that may follow this honesty? All of us feel vulnerable from time to time. A journal is a safe place to write what you feel in a safe space. No one will see your inner most thoughts except those you choose to see them. A journal is a place where you can be your most authentic self. Feel free to write honestly as being candid is one of the main ways to get the total benefits of journaling. You can learn a lot about yourself when you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
These are just a few benefits of journaling. Do you journal? What are some benefits of journaling that you would add to this list?