When it comes to suggesting journaling to someone, I have found the typical response to be very similar to recommending meditation or starting a gratitude practice. Eye rolls and resistance.
But, these things can actually have a powerful impact on your state of being.
As I’m sure you’ve heard a million times, ‘When you focus on the good, more good comes your way. When you appreciate what you have, you focus less on what you don’t have’. And you’ve heard it a million times because it’s true.
And guess what? Journaling can help you focus on the good. And it can help you process challenging situations, and it can be an outlet for you to release anger and difficult emotions (rage writing…).
You don’t have to have a regimented journaling schedule for it to be beneficial either. Although some people find it helpful, you don’t have to wake up every day and do your ‘Morning Pages’ nor do you have to journal at the end of each day. Especially if you’re new to it.
Also, just to be clear, I am no expert, not a certified therapist or medical practitioner. I am sharing my experience with it and how I have found it so amazingly helpful in my life. In other words, this blog post is a BIG recommendation to take up journaling.
So here it goes, ways I have found journaling to be helpful…
Journaling helps me appreciate the amazing things in my life and it helps me stay focused on my goals. A relatively simple practice – name three good things about my day – usually leads to at least 10 good things AND it takes the focus off of the one (or more) bad things about my day.
Noting the small but beautiful things – a smile or text from my kids, waking up, a hot shower, cup of coffee, the sun, the air I breathe, my body that keeps me alive every day… the list is endless.
Journaling helps remind me, no matter where I’m at in life, there is something to be grateful for.
It also helps me plan and process my ‘dreams’, my goals, my intentions. Journaling helps keep it in front of me and makes it harder for me to dismiss what’s calling to me.
Visualization is a powerful tool that I used when creating jaded. Visualization help you attain a clear vision of what you want. And, as opposed to daydreaming, is a call to action. Visualizing what are you doing? Where are you at? Who are you with? How do you feel?
Once you see it and feel it -- detail it. Write it down in ridiculous detail. Who are you helping? What are you wearing? Where are you? Writing it down is an important step in the manifestation process. You’ve now taken it from an idea in your head to a plan on paper. This is the beginning of making that dream a reality – drawing it down to the Earth plane.
**As a side note, three years ago when this idea was born, I visualized being on Main Street in Edwardsville. You guys, I’m on Main Street in Edwardsville… **
Here again, journaling can help you track and celebrate your growth and accomplishments. Journaling helps you process and plan. By writing down your ideas and dreams, you can hone in on exactly what you want to achieve.
Set achievable goals (SMART goals anyone?), take action, note progress or road bumps (there is no failure only redirection).
Journaling is also helping me process some serious and heavy stuff. Things from the past that I can’t quite hold but need to. Journaling is helping me ‘tell the story’ as though I’m somewhat removed from the trauma, as more of an investigator into things that happened, how I felt, how I reacted, responded, etc., etc.
If you’ve got deep stuff, I recommend seeing a professional to help you walk thru it. Some things are simply too heavy to hold alone. (Hugs and love to you if you're holding something hard and heavy.)
A very helpful tool when you are super p*ssed and want to scream at someone, ANYONE, but can't (or shouldn't). I can be a pretty loud typer when I'm mad about something. And if I'm handwriting it's totally illegible, big loud letters.
But it's helps me release some of that rage instead of shoving it down only to have it show up in some other way or situation where it is completely uncalled for.
Literally, people, it helps me process all kinds of emotions. Process and release.
To sum up...
Journaling can help you on this curious and wonderful journey called life. You should try it. Draw, paint, write, type… it doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you try it.
And if you feel remotely inspired, check out our selection of journals.
But always remember, you don't need anything special to add these practices to your life... a notebook, your computer, yourself and your most precious thoughts and dreams. You always have everything you need inside you.