Journaling has been around for centuries, and it’s a practice that remains popular today. From ancient civilizations to modern-day writers, journaling has helped countless people express their feelings, work through difficult emotions, and gain clarity on important life decisions.
Witness the luminaries of our era who practice journaling – from financial wizards like Warren Buffett and entrepreneur extraordinaire Richard Branson to the media titan Oprah and enigmatic pop icon Lady Gaga. But the brilliance doesn’t end here; travel back in time to salute the legendary creations of Leonardo DaVinci, the ground-breaking innovations of Thomas Edison, the timeless wit of Mark Twain, and my personal favorite, the resilient and cherished Anne Frank.
But despite the long history of journaling, many people still don’t understand what it is or why they could benefit from doing it. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits of journaling and how you can start your own practice of writing in and keeping a journal almost every day.
Build your self-awareness skill
“I firmly believe that what makes you sexy & beautiful is not the size of your body or the color lipstick you have on. What really makes you sexy is what you project – your confidence & your self-awareness.” – Kate Dillon Levin
Without self-awareness, we will never grow, evolve or be intrinsically happy. We will remain in the victim mindset creating excuse after excuse to delay what we claim to want while blaming external forces for why we are stuck where we are. In order to build self-awareness, we must first begin with mindfulness. And journaling regularly is a mindfulness skill.
After doing a quick internet search, you will discover many studies which have proven that regular journaling can significantly improve our mental health in a variety of ways. From dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, and life changes we don’t like or want to deal with such as heartbreak or regret. It improves memory, mood and prompts mindfulness. It stimulates creativity and sparks ideas. Other studies prove that regular journaling raises our immune system with reduced symptoms such as migraines, asthma, and arthritis to name a few.
Journaling is so much more than scribbling in a notebook, it’s an exploration into our hearts, minds, and souls. It offers clarity and insight into our personal development and self-awareness. When we start journaling regularly, we can gain greater insight into ourselves by taking time each day to review what matters most: our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and yes…our shadow side. Because whether we face our fears and demons or not, they will still be there haunting us and messing up good things in our lives. Seeing things on paper provides clarity that can often go unnoticed when simply thinking about them; giving us the opportunity for personal transformation through self-awareness like never before.
Free Your Mind, and the Rest Will Follow.
Journaling also frees up energy and mental space. It allows us to dump as much as we can from our minds so we stop wasting useless energy on useless things caused by overthinking and worrying about the crap we have no control over. And if we are overthinking about something we do have control over, getting it out on paper, either written or typed, also helps us find better solutions to change our ways.
Overthinking or over worrying is often a byproduct or symptom of stress, anxiety, and depression. Did you know that worrying and overthinking can cause dozens of physical ailments in our bodies such as back pain, ulcers, headaches, arthritis, and even cancer? Journaling is a powerful tool to eliminate unnecessary stress on our bodies and souls so we can live a more prosperous and happy life.
By freeing ourselves from the unceasing whirlwind of thoughts in our minds, we pave the way for focusing on what truly matters – nurturing ourselves, fostering connections with loved ones, and pursuing our entrepreneurial dreams or life purpose.
Let it transform your story.
Journaling is an amazing practice that can be used to unlock our inner wisdom and guide us through life’s struggles. By writing down our thoughts, we create a physical space where reflection meets clarity—a place of mindful exploration built from the safety of privacy. Through this process, ideas that once felt abstract become concrete; problems appear simpler as new perspectives come into focus. As if in meditation, a journaling practice gives us time away from distraction and pressure so we may listen more deeply for answers within ourselves.
Exploring Our Emotions Through Writing.
Journaling provides an outlet for expressing our emotions without judgment or worries about how others will perceive them. We can use writing as a way to process difficult emotions like anger, fear, sadness, or guilt without having to verbalize these feelings right away or feel uncomfortable talking about them with someone else. This type of exploration can help us become more aware of how these emotions play a role in our lives and how they affect the decisions we make on a daily basis. This knowledge can then be used to give us insight into our behavior patterns so that we are better equipped with the tools needed for personal growth and positive change over time.
You can learn something from journal entries each day, but only if you have the intention of doing so. Journaling provides insight to make positive changes to yourself and your life.
So, what do you journal about you ask? Choose from these countless journaling prompts and journaling techniques, to learn more about yourself and enhance your rate of personal development. You can use one or a variety each day. There is no wrong way, only your way.
1. Make journaling a habit.
Maximize the return on your life investment by setting aside 15-30 minutes daily to journal. Journaling will not change your life overnight, just as anything else in life that is worth doing. Challenge yourself to 30 days of daily journaling and see for yourself.
If you are really serious, journal twice a day; once in the morning and again in the evening. Many of the world’s most successful people adopt this practice.
While daily journaling is best, even a couple of times a week can be beneficial.
2. Start your day.
There are several ways to start your day by journaling. Try starting with writing your expectations and intentions for the day followed by your reasons why and then any potential challenges that may arise to interfere with your day.
Purge any and all negative emotions, cares, and worries when you think about the upcoming day. Feeling anxious about starting a new job or asking for a promotion? Write it all out. It helps!!
Or write down your daily prayers, gratitude list, or goals for the day.
3. Review your day.
Begin writing each journal entry by reviewing your day. What happened? Record anything you might want to remember in the future, whether it’s a day or 50 years from now. Hit the highlights and be willing to be honest with yourself. Reviewing your day gives you perspective on your thoughts, behaviors, and habits.
4. Brain dump.
Don’t burden yourself with unnecessary stress. Take control of your energy by allowing yourself to “brain dump” – letting go of the things that are beyond your power or don’t need remembering. In doing so, you’ll be able to attain better sleep and have a clearer path for problem-solving and emotional well-being.
5. Look for ways to improve.
When you lay out your day in front of you, you’ll notice ways you can improve. Unravel new adventures and opportunities in the creation of your daily life. Discover hidden potential by crafting better interactions with loved ones or with challenging individuals or boldly forging a path toward a thrilling career change.
6. List your challenges and shortcomings.
Reflect on the past experiences and bumps in your journey and channel that energy into forging a new path forward. Write down whatever obstacles may be standing in between you and achieving success – from there, challenge yourself to find creative solutions for overcoming them.
What are your personal shortcomings? Get honest and real with yourself. Do you lack follow-through? Are you impatient? Do you want to work on your social skills? Do you lack goals? Do you have social anxiety? Do you fear you are not enough? What can you work on to enhance your qualities or skills?
Not sure where to start? Think about those moments when a partner or colleague has aired their grievances or offered insight on areas you could improve. Channel that feedback into growth.
7. Use writing prompts.
You can ask these questions and then write your responses to them. Here are several to get you started. Some journals come with prompts if it’s a form of practice you really enjoy.
- If I could wave my magic wand, what would my life be like in 3, 6, 12 months from now. 2 years? 5? 10?
- If I could never fail, what would I do?
- My three greatest strengths are…
- My three greatest weaknesses are…
- My version of success is…
- What do I want more of?
- What do I want less of?
- Where would I like to travel and why?
- My biggest mistake was…
- If I could start over, I would…
- The most important things I can do to improve my life are…
- What the most important things in my life are?
- My favorite childhood memories are?
- How would you like to be remembered?
- What is something you want to learn? Why?
- Describe yourself in detail. Include the positive and the negative.
8. Review your life.
This could take a few hours or spread over months. Start at the beginning and write your thoughts on daily events in your life. Here are some prompts to help you.
- Write about your home life and schooling as a young child.
- What were your favorite toys and pastimes?
- What were your parents like?
- What were your teens like? What was your bedroom like?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- What were the mistakes you made along the way?
- What are some of your core memories?
- How have you ended up where you are?
- How have your perceptions and understanding of life changed over the years?
- What do you want to change going forward?
- What would you do if you could redo certain parts of your life instead?
9. Bullet Journaling
Bullet journaling is a creative and inspiring planning system that is a way to not only explore your thoughts, feelings, and ideas but also get shit done. (It’s been one of my success tools for 3 years and counting.) Use it as an opportunity for self-expression, reflection, time management, goals, habit changes, books to read- even playtime. Utilizing a weekly, monthly, and yearly reflection section can have a great positive impact on accomplishing goals. There’s no wrong way to journal with bullet points; the possibilities are endless. A lot of people who bullet journal pull out all the stops with colored pens and markers, stickers, mind maps, lists and even adding coloring pages to add a bit of mindfulness into their lives.
Journaling is intimidating for many. Unearthing the depths of your own psyche can be scary, and it’s only natural that we want to avoid certain parts of ourselves. But facing them head-on with journaling is incredibly powerful; taking back control and nurturing a deeper level of self-awareness can bring more clarity into your life than you ever imagined.
Journaling is an invaluable tool for increasing self-awareness and improving emotional well-being. It provides an opportunity for self-reflection without distraction or judgment where we can explore our thoughts and feelings freely in order to gain insight into ourselves and the decisions we make in life. It is considered a “million dollar habit” by many experts around the globe as well as one of the 13 skills taught in the best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill which, in case you didn’t know, is the grand-daddy purple of motivational books. Whether you’re struggling with difficult emotions or just looking for some extra clarity in your day-to-day existence, journaling could be just what you need.
It can be three words or three lines or thirty pages. Journaling just makes you happier. Nuff said.
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I am Jen,
As a dedicated life coach specializing in co-parenting, divorce, and single motherhood, I bring a unique blend of professional expertise and personal experience to my coaching practice. I am deeply committed to helping women not only survive divorce but also thrive as they transition into their roles as single mothers. I provide tailored coaching to assist my clients in developing effective co-parenting strategies, fostering healthy communication, and creating nurturing environments for their children.
I am also the author of the best-selling book “I am Amazing: From Invisible to Invincible”. My self-help memoir offers hope and inspiration for anyone who has felt overwhelmed by life and their struggles with mental health. With raw honesty and vulnerability, I provide an intimate look at my journey from victim to victorious.