Put It to Paper: How Journaling Helps You Lead the Life You Want
Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Write the life you want by making journaling a part of your personal routine
To say life is busy would be a massive understatement – life is a consistently revolving carousel or trials, tribulations, triumphs, and seemingly never-ending to-do lists. And yet among all of that commotion is the complex beauty of existence; the joys, fears, hopes, and heartbreak that bring untold depth to the experience of being human. All that is worth not only exploring but also remembering.
Establishing a habit like daily journaling can initially seem like a frivolity or luxury when your schedule is already overwhelming, but journaling can have a multitude of benefits beyond just recording your existence. Writing down your thoughts can act as an effective form of processing your life and can help define your goals and dreams in a way that can inspire you to turn your fears into affirmations and your aspirations into actual events.
The pros of putting pen to paper
There is a reason journaling has existed as a form of creative expression for centuries – many, in fact. Journaling has a plethora of benefits, including but certainly not limited to:
· Mindfulness: Mindfulness is being fully involved and absorbed in the present moment, and the act of journaling inspires an almost meditative state that requires you to do just that. When you’re searching for the next correct word, thought, or idea, you’re not dwelling on past frustrations and future anxieties. Fully immerse yourself in the moment and take a break from the rest of the world by setting aside writing time each day.
· Goal-setting: Incorporate your goals, dreams, ambitions, and hopes into your journaling sessions. Organizing these ideas and committing them to paper is the first step to creating a kind of accountability that will transform these thoughts into a realistic plan of action. The act of writing down your goals allows you to assess what it is you really want in a way that helps you create a blueprint for your life.
· Mental exercise: The act of writing has a positive correlation with intelligence and will keep your mind nimble as you explore language and creative ways of using it. Your interest in sentence structure and vocabulary will develop more naturally as you continue to practice putting pen to paper, in a way that will carry into your conversations and other written communication.
· Personal expression: Being able to express yourself with authenticity is a strong indicator of emotional intelligence. Journaling provides a safe space in which you can practice honesty, self-awareness, and processing your emotions without judgment. Journaling is also an excellent conduit to practice creativity playfully – there are no risks when writing for your own enjoyment.
· Self-discipline: Let’s face it, you’re not always going to want to journal. In fact, it may even seem like a waste of time on your busiest days. Creating new habits and forcing yourself to commit to a new endeavor is good practice and adds an element of structure to your daily life. Getting accustomed to carrying through on your personal promises to yourself will benefit you in other areas, like diet and exercise.
· Personal growth: Writing expressively helps you heal. The act of translating a negative experience into written words can help take the edge off, and allow you to distance yourself from it in a way that makes the event feel easier to process more objectively. Writing down your innermost thoughts and fears allows you to purge that negativity from the forefront of your mind in a way that will allow you to focus on positive experiences and a path forward.
Your personal journal doesn’t have to be your magnum opus. This isn’t a dissertation or autobiographical best seller. Don’t get so caught up in the mechanics that you lose the intent – the goal is to express yourself in a consistent way that will aid you in organizing your thoughts, easing your anxieties, and celebrating your achievements. Memorialize yourself in a way that matters to you, and reap the rewards that come with being the author of your own life in an empowered way.
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