For years now I have tried to journal every day but up until recently, I found that it is hard to journal daily when you are leading such a busy life. When I was little I loved to write in my diary, I would write the fun things happening in my life at the time, or even the not so fun things. Keeping a journal helped to get things out of my head and onto paper. I was able to write it all down and even to release some of the negative energy I had around myself during that time.
About 10 years ago I began to take my journaling to a whole new level. I learned that I can write down my goals, dreams, and ambitions in my journal and then watch them happen. Like I said in my previous blog post, Goal-Setting 101, when you write down your goals you are more likely to accomplish them. That’s pretty amazing, right?
Natalie Goldberg said, “Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.” This is the place for you to do so much more than “Dear Diary, today was great”. This is the place for you to get your thoughts down. Quotes that are meaningful to you. Ideas you might have for a new opportunity. And a place to voice your fears and build your courage to move past them.
There are some really great benefits to keeping a journal:
- Stress reduction: By writing down the things in your head you tend to release the stress caused by it that thing. Also writing things down can reduce the stress that you might forget something you want to remember.
- Healing: Writing can help you get through tough situations, it provides you a way to “speak” your mind so to speak in a safe, judgement free zone.
- Know yourself and your truth better: Journaling will help you with your self-confidence. It can allow you to clarify your thoughts and feelings.
- Personal growth: This private time with yourself can help you be creative, and even humorous. It can even enable you to recognize new opportunities that allow you to live life to the fullest. You will learn how to enhance you self-expression.
- Easier Problem solving: Remember this is a safe environment within which you might find decision making easier as you discover new perspectives.
- Enhances intuition and creativity: Journaling can improve self-trust, insights, and will sharpen your memories of events. (This an important benefit of journaling for me.)
- Captures your life story: Journaling teaches you how to write stories, soothes trouble memories, stimulates personal growth and improve family unity. Also, imagine if your great grandchildren were to come across one of your journals and could get to know you through your writing. Or imagine if you were to find your great grandmother’s journal, wouldn’t it have been amazing to read through her life and experience what she experienced?
There are many ways to journal. Some people, like me, want to do their journaling on paper. Some people don’t like to write that way and prefer to let the words flow on the computer. The important thing is that you give it a try. So why not get a nice journal out or your laptop and start writing. Go to a nice area in your home, or go outside and listen to the birds chirping while you are writing away. Any season is a great time to set aside a little time to capture the moments of your life. Start by doing a what went well today entry. Or if you need to get something off your chest just write, your feelings, your hurts, and your fears. Remember anything you write is just for your eyes only unless you decide to leave them to relatives who can read through your life’s journey.
Use journaling to help you stay focused on what is most important day to day. Of course, I always like to add some gratitude into my journaling. The little things I am grateful for from day to day. It helps keep things into perspective when I feel like life is getting in the way. You can also put your prayers, hopes, and dreams into your journaling.
Now, go out there and get to writing. Let me know how it goes and how you feel afterward. You will be amazed at the outcome.
By: Tina Torres, CEO, The Gratitude Specialist for the Blog at AMI LC