Benefits of Journaling
The benefits of journaling are becoming more and more apparent. As we improve our journaling practice we will realize more of these benefits.
I believe journaling is a practice that we can adopt that is going to be of great benefit to society. If all members of society are consciously evaluating who they are and what they are doing with their lives it can only benefit society as a whole.
Research is starting to show that there are many benefits of journaling. There is also a significant amount of anecdotal evidence about the power of journaling. Many famous people from history kept journals.
“Knowledge is power”
“Data has value”
We hear these sayings all the time, but we tend to apply them to businesses and governments. These are equally applicable to individuals. The individual who knows himself better, who can better articulate his goals and dreams is, has value. That value is going to translate into being able to live the life they envision.
Journaling is the keystone habit for collecting and managing all the information that an individual accumulates over their lifetime.
Let’s look at some of the extra benefits of journaling. I hope these inspire you to start a journaling practice.
Connect with your Inner World
The habit of journaling when it consists of a component of self-reflection and life reflections has the following benefits:
Connects you with your purpose. The more you examine your life, the more your purpose is going to be revealed.
- Understand yourself Better
You will be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with what life brings
Your life will be more meaningful. As you reflect on life and align your life with a vision, the actions that you take daily will align with that vision.
Your mind will continuously find better solutions to align with what you are striving for.
Connect with your Outer World
Whatever your spiritual beliefs, whether that is God, a higher power, the universe of simply the intuitive power of the mind, journaling will help to strengthen this connection. The mind is a pattern-matching machine, intuitively we can make remarkable interpretations without realizing how we do it. Poker players use that inner awareness to seemingly read what other players hands are. Journaling helps to connect us with that wholistic way of seeing.
A journaling practice that consists of self-reflection, planning, and envisioning a future helps you to stay in the present. A journaling practice helps resolve past issues, as well as understanding what the future is bringing. Without the anxiety of the past and the future, we can focus on the present which is a foundation of mindfulness.
Clarify your Emotions
The simple act of writing down how we feel often clarifies how we feel. The thoughts and emotions go in circles in our heads, once we write them down, they become fixed. Once written down we become clearer on the intensity of the emotion.
Sometimes our emotions overlap, we are irritated by one thing and we put that emotion on another. I see that in my kids all the time. They think they are upset by one thing but really it is something else. Talking through the emotions oftentimes allows us to identify what is really the matter.
Journaling lets emotions out and lets us objectively view them and gain clarity.
Clarity of emotions leads to greater Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Writing is a way of increasing your IQ. Since journaling consists to a large part of writing, journaling will also have the same benefit. The effort of trying to articulate your ideas, your reflections, and your experiences keeps your mind active.
Achieve Your Goals
Using a journal to create your life design will make in more likely that you will achieve it. When you are actively documentation your vision for your life, your brain is going to subconsciously work towards creating that vision. Your reticular activating system will be activated, and you will notice things in your life that will help you achieve that vision.
A key aspect of achieving your goals is awareness and consistent focus on your goals. Journaling and reviewing your journaling is one of the best ways of creating that awareness and focus.
Build Self Discipline
A journaling practice builds structure in your life. When your journaling practice is incorporated into your morning and evening routines you are starting the day and ending the day with greater awareness. The awareness is what is going to give you the motivation to do the actions that are most aligned with your goals.
Journaling requires you to get ideas out of your head and into your journal. The constant practice of journaling is going to increase your skill in forming and writing your ideas. This skill will translate into talking and communicating your ideas to others.
There is scientific evidence that journaling can actually help you heal faster.
Journaling will increase your creativity in many ways:
Using a stream of consciousness journaling builds your skill of free-thinking, of getting ideas out of your head and into your journal.
Ideas that you have documented in your journal will trigger other related ideas. This is the basis for creativity.
Having a journaling practice will motivate you to capture more of your thoughts and ideas.
A journal is a non-judgemental place where you can reflect. This will encourage you to think less rigidly and more creatively.
Once you have journaled your thoughts and ideas, they are out of your head leaving room for more thoughts and ideas.
Journals are an excellent way to keep track of parts of your life you are trying to change or make more effective. Food journals, running journals, habit journals are all examples of using a journal to track some part of your life. Having the tracking in the same place as your reflections and goals multiplies the effectiveness of a journal.
- Remember who you Were
It is hard to remember who we were. The farther we look back the more we incorporate who we are now into what we remember. The more we look back on memories the more we subtly alter the memories.
Having it documented let’s you see more clearly how you were thinking and feeling at that time.
We forget so many of the mundane parts of our life that become important later.
Having experience from your past documented in a way that lets you remember more of what they were like helps to build empathy in your life since you are better able to relate to people who are in similar circumstances to what you went through in the past.
Documenting problems and related issues has always been an effective way of solving those problems. Doing this in conjunction with a journaling practice makes it that much more effective. You go back and see similar problems that you have solved.
Some problems take a long time to solve. The solution comes in bits and pieces until the final piece is in place. Journaling is an effective tool in keeping track of the problem and the parts of the solution that have been put in place and the pieces that still need to be solved.
A journal is a great way to challenge your assumptions and beliefs. As you document and reflect on your experiences you can determine if they support or oppose your beliefs or assumptions. Knowing your beliefs and assumptions and constantly looking for evidence for or against those beliefs can form an effective part of your journaling practice.
I invite you to join the conversation about these ideas. Together let’s add clarity and insight.
What benefits of journaling have you experienced?
Do these benefits of journaling inspire you to start journaling?