Journaling is an extremely powerful tool. Yes, it takes a little time and effort to do. Your well-being is well worth the effort, especially when you are trying to make a change. Some of the greatest changes, insights, and progress I’ve made were when I exercised the discipline to keep a journal. Have you tried it? Do you use journaling as a tool to help yourself?~ Akiroq Brost
Journaling may remind you of something you did as a child, but it’s much more than that. The act of journaling has a healing power that can improve your memory, reduce your stress and increase your creativity.
The Healing Power of Journaling
That’s only the beginning of the power behind journaling. Here are seven ways journaling can improve your quality of life and help you become the best version of yourself.
1. Starting Your Day off Strong
It’s easy to wake up in the morning and instantly grab that cup of coffee while reading emails or scrolling through social media. Instead, train yourself to wake up in the morning and reach for your journal.
Making journaling a part of your morning routine can spark your creative juices. While you’re sleeping, your mind learns and dreams up new ideas. If you start the day by writing in your journal, you can jot those ideas down and start the day creatively.
Journaling in the morning can also help you solidify a to-do list with everything you want to accomplish, including daily tasks and dreams or goals for the day. Return to your journal again at night to see what you did and didn’t do, then reflect on how the day made you feel.
2. Reducing Stress
It can feel challenging to unplug after a long day. Maybe you’re always keeping up with other people’s lives on social media. Maybe you come home and continue to work, and your relationships have suffered. Journaling can help.
Studies show that journaling helps you focus, release emotions and let go of things that are bothering you. The best thing you can do after a stressful day is to sit down and write about it. Articulate your emotions in your journal, and try to spend 30 minutes detaching from what made you stressed. You’ll feel better after you let it all out on a page.
3. Introducing a Mindful State
Journaling can also help you connect with your emotions and get to know yourself better. After you’ve been journaling for a few weeks, you may discover trends about your current state of mind. If it looks troubling, it could be time to talk to a friend or a professional.
You can even start your journal with prompts that will induce a mindful state. “What does unconditional love look like for you?” or “I couldn’t imagine living without…” are two good examples of prompts that will help you focus on your emotions and needs.
4. Increasing Creativity
There are two critical parts to journaling that increase your creativeness. First, setting aside time to write in your journal means making the time to be creative. You might feel like you’re too busy to stretch the creative parts of your brain. If this is the case, set aside a block of time every day to write creatively in your journal. Not only will you get the other benefits of journaling, but you’ll also have time to be creative.
Try “stream of consciousness” writing to channel thoughts you didn’t know you had. Your next big idea could be hiding in your mind without you even knowing it. Try to free write if you’re having trouble tapping into your creative recesses and see what happens next.
5. Healing Past Wounds
If you’re looking for a way to heal from bad memories, try journaling. Maybe there’s something traumatic from your childhood that you haven’t gotten over. Write it down.
Journaling is an excellent way to think about your past and how you want to change moving forward. If you’re going through a challenging time, it’s a powerful tool to explore your current behaviors and emotions. The best way to change is to write it all down, think about what it was that hurt you and how to move past it.
6. Boosting Memory
How many times have you woken up from a dream only to instantly forget what it was about? While it may not seem like a big deal, dreams are more powerful than we think. Research shows that our dreams help us figure out what to remember and what to forget. They’re our minds’ attempts to make sense of what happened that day and find connections between the mysteries of life.
Dreams are also fleeting, and we can forget what happened as soon as we wake up in the morning. Try to change that by keeping a dream journal. As soon as you wake up, write down what you remember from your dreams. Your memory will improve over time, and you’ll be able to retain more of your dreams the more you write them down.
7. Focusing on Gratitude
It’s often difficult to focus on what you’re thankful for, which is why a gratitude journal is a powerful addition to any routine. It can be as simple as writing down one thing you’re grateful for every day, or it can be pages of all the things in life you’re thankful for, from your kids to your favorite candy bar.
Slowly but surely, this will reframe your thinking about your daily life by causing you to focus on your values. This will also improve your relationships, as you start to view life through a more positive lens. Your friends, family, and co-workers — not to mention your mental health — will thank you.
Start by Writing Every Day
You don’t have to wait until January rolls around to start forming a new routine — journaling begins when you decide to start. Make it a point to write every day, even if it’s only a few lines. This will form a positive habit that will begin to unleash healing power in your life. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to focus more on gratitude, lose excess stress and become a better person after you start to keep a daily journal.