“Journaling is a profound — and simple — way to get to know yourself better. To figure out what makes you tick. What makes you happy. What makes you defensive. What makes you giggle or grateful or grieve. What makes you who you are.” ~Jill Schoenberg
I’ve been keeping a journal for a few years now. It all started as a quick gratitude practice and quickly morphed into daily journaling to help me clear my head, process hard feelings, make sense of what is happening with me and around me, and be really honest with myself.
When I crack open my journal and start writing something magical happens. Turns out, expressive writing is a route to healing — emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
When we write, we have to slow down. This helps us process things at a rate that allows us to notice our patterns of thinking and behaving, gain some clarity and perspective, reframe our experience, find insight, and empower ourselves to change. Even the mere act of putting things down on paper provides a lot of emotional release and helps us let things go. Writing is healing.
Instead of getting tangled up in our traumas we can write our way through them.
In the end, journaling is all about moving through pain – instead of getting stuck in it. This emotional release can help us cope with stress better, keep our anxiety at bay, unpack our burdens, and let them go.
7 Benefits of Journaling Every Day
Journaling is a great practice that can help reduce stress, evoke mindfulness, promote emotional healing, increase self-awareness and nurture self-growth. (tweet this)
Yes, you can journal your way to a better life through insights, “aha’s,” and healing moments that will often surprise you.
In a nutshell, journaling is a great tool to help you:
- overcome negative feelings, cope with stress and build resilience,
- observe the patterns in your thinking and behaving empowering you to change and grow,
- identify and shift your core beliefs about self and the world that might be limiting you right now,
- release suppressed emotions and feelings,
- process, integrate, and heal from traumatic events in your life,
- reframe negative experiences to rewrite your story and give it a new meaning,
- clarify and illuminate your path, identify what you really want and create ways of reaching your goals.
Journaling is one of the most powerful choices you can make to improve your health, well-being, and an empowerment tool to help you grow! (tweet this)
For a more comprehensive list of benefits of journaling check out this post.
Let’s Get Started!
When you’re ready to dive into mindful journaling:
- Pick your format: I encourage you to journal by hand – you will connect to yourself on a stronger and deeper level. Still, you will reap the benefits of mindful journaling going the digital route as well. Or, perhaps, you’d like to combine the two. Pick what works for you.
- Set a schedule: Set aside 20-30 minutes each day (I like to write a bit each morning and then again in the evening) when you won’t be interrupted. Meditate, walk your dog, or stretch a bit to get your mind settled and your body relaxed. Find a quiet spot. Clear the space of obvious distractions. Get comfortable.
- Print and familiarize yourself with this comprehensive list of feelings (name it so you can tame it):
- Start practicing everyday mindfulness – throughout the day, practice awareness and acceptance of the present moment. Be still and focus on your breath. Become aware of your body, your emotions, and what is happening at that moment. Notice sensations. Let go of your thoughts, just for a little while. Realize when you’re hijacked by your thoughts and bring yourself back to now by focusing on your breath. Treat yourself with compassion and understanding. Don’t judge. The point is to notice these internal distractions and mind wanderings then bring your focus back to your breath. The more you practice, the easier it will get.
You’re worthy of putting yourself first!
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