by Elfriede in Personal Growth Posted on 11/18/2021 06:00 AM
One of the tools that has been crucial in my personal growth journey is journaling. I’ve been doing it since I was a child, without even knowing exactly what journaling was. It’s one of those things I’d recommend to anyone and everyone. I’m a big advocate for journaling. In this article, I’ll explain the concept of journaling so you can better understand what’s great about it.
WHAT IS JOURNALING?
Journaling is a written record of your thoughts and feelings. It's simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly.
Journaling generally involves the practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts and feelings surrounding the events of your life.
It can help everyone regardless of age, education, interests, or writing skills.
I’m Elfriede A. I’m the Life Coach and CEO of Diamond Outcome. Diamond Outcome is a learning platform to help you increase the quality of your life and well-being.
BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
Journaling has a lot of benefits that add to personal growth, as well as other areas of your life.
According to University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker, journaling strengthens immune cells
Studies also show that it helps you achieve your goals because writing down your goals gives you 42% better chance of achieving them than just wishing
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health & memory.
More benefits of journaling are that it:
REASONS TO JOURNAL
People usually journal for 2 reason:
Journaling therapy to improve mental health
Journaling for professional success
HOW TO BEGIN JOURNALING
Get the tools - Pen, pencil, eraser, notebook, marker, app, etc.
Find the style that works best for you - Experiment with physical and digital journals.
Encourage yourself to write in your journal regularly, set aside a few minutes every day.
Journal at the same time everyday - Discover the time that works best for you, whether early in the morning, before bed, or some other time. Most people prefer journaling before bedtime because it helps reflect on the day so they sleep with a clear mind. Some prefer journaling in the morning because it energizes them for the day ahead.
Just write - Write about anything. Think of a prompt and go with it. You don’t need an expectation in mind. You don’t need a certain amount of time either. Just relax and let the words flow freely without worrying about mistakes or structure.
Make it your own - Adding doodles, watercolors or drawings is a fun way to add your personality to your journal.
Make it simple, at least for a start - Don’t overwhelm yourself.
Keep your journal and pen handy at all times so that when you want to jot down your thoughts whenever you want. This is easier if you decide to journal digitally.
There are no specific rules to journaling and this can be a good and bad thing. It’s good because you are free to write whatever you want. It’s bad because now that you can write anything you want, you might not know what to write. Here are some ideas to inspire you.
IDEAS FOR JOURNALING
Your journal is meant to be your personal handbook as you live your life. It can consist of anything and everything important to you.
Below are examples of topics to write about in your journal:
Your life purpose/vision/mission
Your improvement areas
Your life adages (i.e. your personal mottos on living a great life. These can be inspirational quotes or personal mottos.)
Your vision board (Vision boards are a visual representation of your goals and dreams.)
Your long-term life goals, comprising of 10-, 5-, and 1-year goals
Your short-term life goals, usually a breakdown of your 1-year goals
Your action plans to achieve your goals
Grief that you want to process
Things that you regret
Your intentions for a better life
Things that you have accomplished
List of what you are grateful for
Spiritual questions and thanks
Unraveling problematic relationships
Adventures - past and future
What you are proud of
Elaborate on a special memory
Plan random acts of kindness
Write questions that you have about life
Most important lessons that you have learned in your life so far
Write a letter to a stranger, sometimes it’s easier to tell your thoughts to an imaginary stranger. This exercise helps to put your words into a conversation.
Write a letter to your past self
Write a letter to your future self
Write a letter to forgive
Write a letter to your children to read in the future
Favorite travel destinations to visit
Things that you are happy about your relationships
Things that need improvement with your relationships
Best childhood memories
Favorite comfort foods
Your ideal day
Your favorite family or holiday traditions
Your dream life
I hope I’ve convinced you to pick up journaling as a hobby. It’s a skill that’ll make your life easier and happier. It’s one of the smartest hobbies I ever picked up.
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