For about the last 2 years, I’ve been developing the habit of taking pen to paper. To many people, buying a book with nothing in it besides blank pages may seem silly, especially in an ever increasing digital world. However, the simple act of journaling contains so many benefits that may not seem apparent at first.
Not only does journaling allow us an opportunity to get what’s going on in the infinite depths of our mind onto paper, but if you continuously journal over a period of time, you will be able to study and review yourself, as well as monitor your progress. I’ve found through journaling, that we can also shed light on our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that we are living out that may not be so obvious to us.
The great news is that the uses of journaling don’t stop there. I’ve discovered several different ways of journaling. Worrying about something coming up in the near future? You can use journaling as a tool to help kick the worry habit when it rears its ugly head.
Whenever I seem overly worried about something, one of the most surefire ways I can deal with the emotion and burden is by writing out everything that is making me anxious. When I write down what’s been vexing me on paper, I almost always find that it’s never as bad and unmanageable as it seems in my head. The art of analyzing it, writing and dragging it out on paper, works wonders.
An additional way to use journaling is to capture those remarkable and magnificent days and moments in our lives. Think about how powerful it is to capture life-changing events and express how you felt at that moment. This creates a space to reflect on previous times in our lives that may have taught us the most important things and lessons we may have forgotten.
It could be writing about people you met, a miracle that happened to you, the day you got the job you were waiting for, or the day you fell in love. By recording it on paper and expressing how you felt when it happened, it will serve as a reminder of the past and show us how far we’ve come when looking over our journal in the future.
A third way of adding to your journal can be in the form of free writing ideas that come to you while brainstorming on projects, or breakthroughs that you gain during your daily life. When trying to create something new in my life, whether it be an article like this one, a project or presentation at work, or something I would like to talk about during an upcoming talk, the practice of journaling helps my creative juices flow and stimulate ideas.
I also use my journal to record advice, tips, feedback, and any information I want to remember whether it be from reading, attending a seminar or lecture, a class, or while listening to a podcast. By compiling this information in one place, my journal acts like an ever-updating encyclopedia of knowledge and ideas! I’d truly be lost without it.
The last way I’ve personally found it helpful to use a journal is by utilizing it to help plan for the future. It is the perfect space to direct your focus and write and reflect on what you would like to achieve, where you’d like to go in life, and how you plan on doing it. I have pages filled with goals, places I’d like to one day visit, things I would like to accomplish, as well as my lifetime aspirations peppered throughout my journals.
To this day, I still review my journals and am always amazed at the progress I’ve made and how far I’ve come. Carrying and writing in my journal has become almost second nature to me, and I can’t imagine living without it. It’s basically a free form of therapy!
I hope I’ve inspired you to get your own journal and start filling it out today! The possibilities are endless.
How would you use a journal in your life?
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