Our lives are full of hidden information, knowledge and feelings that we may sometimes find hard to process. But these circumstances and experiences are the most up-to-date happenings that have the largest impacts on our lives. From great writers and artists to entrepreneurs and global influencers, throughout history, many have documented these thoughts and experiences in journals, maintaining a detailed account of their day-to-day life.
Here are 4 reasons why you need to start keeping a journal as well.
Clears your mind
When you note down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, you’re decluttering information, knowledge and emotions that take up unnecessary space in your mind, or that need an easier route for the brain to process. Journaling can release this pressure and clear up some mental space for you to think more clearly. This can further help you focus better and adopt more creative methods of expression.
Acts as a tool for self-improvement
No one other than you knows what’s written inside your personal journal. This helps create a safe and judgement-free space for you to express more openly than you would to any other person. By keeping track of your overwhelming emotions and thoughts, you can track your personal growth and experiences regularly. From looking back to assess your goals and observe behavioral patterns that you need to take notice of to avoiding negative influences or listing positive habits that you can adopt in the future. The possibilities are endless.
Improves problem-solving skills
We mentioned above that journaling helps improve creativity and find innovative ways to express yourself. By decluttering your mind and engaging in activities that work the creative side of your mind, you’re also helping yourself think of better solutions to complex problems. Research has proven that expressive writing helps compose negative thoughts and reduce negative events that can have a tremendous impact on us while also improving our working memory. Writing about your experiences can not only help understand and learn from them but also improves memory retention.
Helps with healing
Emancipation of pent-up emotions and thoughts through journaling can accelerate the process of healing. Expressive writing can also ease the symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid, arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome. No matter what you use it for, the progress and positive effects of journaling as seen almost immediately.
Some steps on how you can start journaling:
1. Set a timer, put pen to paper and write a stream of consciousness for 5 minutes straight. Once you’re comfortable with expressing your thoughts without getting stuck on what to write, you can gradually increase the time you write.
2. If you’re intimidated by a blank page, opt for relevant prompts to get your creative juices flowing.
3. Write at the same time every day, no matter what time of the day you choose. This helps inculcate an idea of routine and you’ll make sure to write in your journal when that time comes every single day.
4. Don’t stress over maintaining your journal. The idea of journaling is to help you grow and release thoughts and emotions, it’s solely to help you. So be as honest as you can be and don’t be afraid to delve into topics that you’d shy away from sharing with others.
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