Recently, I encouraged a young woman to start keeping a journal. I've listened to her complain and make excuses, even though she's adamant about making changes to her life. She has no clue who she is or what she wants.
She said she wants to be happy, but she doesn't know how to go about making herself happy. She lives in fear of making decisions, in case those decisions are not "right."
I describe her as a boxer constantly blocking hits but never throwing any punches of her own. She's placed herself in the ring but then refuses to fight for herself.
After a lengthy discussion and much deflection on her part, she finally agreed to start a journal, in which she is to list her successes and accomplishments of each day, no matter how big or how small, and her feelings as she reaches her goals. Since she recently started an exercise program, she will use that as a starting point.
Below are eight major benefits of journaling:
1. Stress reduction! A journal is a place to release any pent-up thoughts and emotions. Rather than react to stressful situations and making them worse, you can channel that energy into writing. This allows you to disentangle your thoughts and ideas. It allows you to put things into perspective. And it empowers you because you are taking control rather than reacting irrationally.
2. Healing. A journal is where you can be totally honest without being judged, rejected, or ridiculed. It will reveal and track patterns and cycles that you may not have been aware of previously. Harmony and balance are restored when you begin to see yourself as a larger, whole, connected being.
3. Know yourself. A journal is an aid to self-discovery. It helps you to create an awareness of beliefs and options so you can change them. It reveals your processes, how you think, learn, create, and intuit.
4. Personal growth. A journal allows for self-expression. It helps you to focus and clarify your desires and needs. It helps you to measure and track what is important, and it enhances breakthroughs.
6. Flexible and easy. Journaling can be done at anytime or anywhere. There are no rules; you don't have to worry about misspellings, typos, or grammar. Once you start, you will find that it will supply its own energy.
7. Enhances creativity and intuition. As you journal, your insights will sharpen. It will help you to direct your intentions and develop your power of discernment. You'll discover creative ideas and solutions as your inner voice is awakened.
8. Captures your life story. Your journal is a reflection of who you are. It captures your personal stories to pass on to others.
Keeping a journal is a simple, flexible tool to use. As a spiritual practice, when done on a regular basis, your identity will emerge through your very own words. You write yourself into existence. Success comes from knowing who you are, knowing what you want, and having a plan to reach that success. Journaling can help you get there.
How has journaling helped you to grow and develop as a person?