Getting started with a journaling strategy can seem like a daunting task. Before I started, it felt weird to put my thoughts on paper. These 7 benefits of writing in a journal can do so much to improve your life.
Do not let fear stop you from journaling. If you do it will prevent you from working through your problems and receiving the benefits of writing in a journal.
Now I journal 5-7 days a week, and I have finally rid myself of all these negative thoughts and emotions associated with journaling. In this post, I hope to inspire you, to see the true potential in what journaling can truly do for you, and your personal development.
1. Helps You Reduce Stress
8 in 10 Americans report that they “frequently” or “sometimes” experience stress in their daily lives.
Everyone seems to be getting more and more stressed and no one seems to be aware of the steps they can take to combat it. Stress levels are climbing all over the world and its time we did something about it.
When you are able to sit down, take a deep breath and write out a few things that have been bothering you, profound things can happen. Often times, you can realize that this isn’t as big of a deal as you initially anticipated, or you are able to think more clearly and find a solution to the problem, that you hadn’t thought of yet.
2. Increase Creativity Levels
I am constantly trying to boost my creativity levels on a daily basis. Creativity is something that became much more important to me over the past few years.
Journaling is simply the best way I have found to take my own creativity to the next level. When you are journaling, new ideas and thoughts come up all the time, just flowing through them and putting them down as you go, is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
If you stick to it and start to see the benefits of writing in a journal, you will find that you have a higher level of creativity than you had before.
3. Gratitude, Being Thankful, & Your Happiness
Being thankful for what you have is a practice I try and implement every day. I am always thinking about all the special things, people, and experiences I have had in my life. Then I always take it a step further and put it in perspective.
How many people are happier than you, with less than what you have? There are people all around the world that live a much more difficult life than I personally live, and yet they have achieved a level of happiness.
These are the thoughts and gratitude practices that I implement while I am journaling. The benefits of writing in a journal can be very profound if you are determined to make it work.
4. Helps You Retain Information & Improve Memory
There are many ways of learning:
- By doing
There is even learning by taking notes or writing things down. When you write things down, it improves the odds you remember it by a significant margin. When you run into a new concept maybe its a good idea to sit down and journal about it for a couple of minutes.
Personally, I have not been blessed with an incredible memory. This only gives me more reason to implement ways that give me a memory boost.
I feel that when I am journaling consistently I am more likely to remember what I read and be able to implement it into my life.
5. Journaling Helps Push You Towards Your Goals
Writing about the goals I have for my personal or business life is one of my favorite journaling topics.
What this does is keeps your goals constantly in mind. When your brain is constantly thinking about something, it finds ways to make it happen.
Your goals will start to become a part of your subconscious mind and begin to create the reality that you currently live in. Do not underestimate this, journaling on the topic of your own personal goals is extremely important.
Talk about the parts of the goal that you are struggling with, what you need help accomplishing and what parts are you succeeding in. Don’t forget to reflect on your accomplishments as well.
Journaling about your goals can bring some of the best benefits of writing in a journal. Nothing is better than seeing your goals and dreams come full circle.
6. Evoking Mindfulness
When I am working I get very involved in what I am doing. I emerge myself into all my projects and I take it very seriously. I love doing this but everything has its pros and cons. Sometimes I find it extremely difficult to detach my mind from work and spend quality time with friends and family.
I use Journaling as a way to get myself into a mindful state. A place where I am more concentrated on the present rather than focusing on the past or the future.
If you are not able to live in the present, it can really put a strain on your happiness and personal relationships. This is why it is really important to me that I can personally reach a state of mindfulness and living in the moment.
Using journaling in this way can bring many benefits of writing in a journal and is a solid foundation for seeking mindfulness in your day to day life.
7. Reflect On Your Day & Plan Your Future
Journaling at night can be a great way to put a stamp on the day and start the chapter on tomorrow. Use this time to reflect on the good things that happened throughout the day, and how you could have made the day even better.
Make sure this is an extremely positive experience, this is not a time to thrash yourself and point out all the mistakes you made. Just time for some positivity and small changes that you can use to improve.
After you finished with that, take this time to make a few key points on what you would like your next day to look like.
Visualize it, see yourself working hard on your goals, and getting things done. Visualization can be extremely powerful if used correctly.
This process can increase your chances of making tomorrow an even better day.
How long should I journal for?
I am not sitting here telling you that you have to journal for an hour a day. Honestly quite the opposite. Start small, something you know that you can do.
A habit is something you do every day or almost every day. Go for the consistency of every day instead of pushing yourself to journal for longer than you feel ready for.
Small changes are all we are looking for. Are you going to start your Journaling Habit?
If you need help figuring out how to implement this journaling habit into your life and receive the benefits of writing in a journal, go to this blog post now: How Habits are Formed: The Habit Loop.
What Are Some Good Journal Topics?
We talked about some topics above that you could use, such as gratitude practices, reflecting on your day, planning tomorrow, etc.
There are many other topics that you could use while writing in a journal. You could write out your goals, and affirmations. These are a great confidence booster.
Another tactic you could use is writing exactly what you have in your mind. What you are essentially doing is puking onto the page. Whatever comes to mind you write down. You can not judge yourself as you do this and you don’t stop to think about what you wrote.
This is a great way to get down things that are stressing you out or maybe find something that you didn’t know was bothering you. Which helps you be more mindful during the day.
Another option is getting a journal that has predetermined topics for each day. These are great options in my opinion. My favorite is The Five Minute Journal.
Key Takeaways – 7 Benefits of Writing in a Journal
The habits that you need to focus on are “Keystone Habits’ ‘.
In the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, he explains a Keystone Habit as being: “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.”
Let me explain, you read this blog post written by Jeremy with Mind of Habit, you pull out this notebook you have had for years but haven’t touched yet.
You decide that this could be your journal, you take one night, and reflect on the day you had and praise yourself for the hard work you did. But at the same time, you realize you may have said something rude to your significant other on accident.
You go to bed that night and apologize for accidentally doing that. He/she is grateful and accepts your apology. You go to bed feeling good about the work you did and the relationship with the person next to you. So you have the best sleep you have had in weeks.
Which makes you wake up in a better mood and grab that apple instead of that sugar-packed cereal. You go on to have a great day with less stress and healthier choices.
Yes, I did make this story up, but do not act as if this is an unrealistic outcome for you. Take charge of your life and good things will happen.
Learn some of the other keystone habits and Habits of Successful People. These are the Daily Success Habits that you need to be able to get your life headed in the right direction.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. Implement the journaling habit to receive all of these amazing benefits of writing in a journal.