• Karen Lowe

8 Benefits of Journaling

People are continually talking about journaling these days and telling you why it is important. I have compiled this list of 8 benefits that I, along with others, have found for journaling! If you are concerned that you don't have time to sit and journal every day then hang around as I will write other posts about ways that you can journal, things to keep in mind for journaling, and how to get started!

It is important to know that there are probably more than 8 benefits to journaling but these are by far the ones that I feel the most when I do my own journaling. If you have any other reasons that you journal that I have not included here please put them in the comments. I would love to hear from you guys why it is that you journal.

Let's jump right in shall we?

1. Personal Growth and Development

When it comes to journaling a small thing that can happen is that you grow your vocabulary as you look for different words to express yourself as you write about similar things over and over again. If you choose to journal, it can be a catalyst to improve your communication skills. Allowing you a chance to grow your awareness of your own thoughts and feelings, you start to understand them better and it can become easier to have control over how you react in difficult situations. There is also a freedom of expression when you journal as you do not need to censor what you write because your journal is just for you. You are free to let out all your emotions and process through them. Processing these thoughts and emotions can cause new insights and breakthroughs in your life. Finally, it helps with personal growth by helping with memory and comprehension by making you write things out multiple times.

2. Intuition and Self-Expression

Journaling can help you integrate new knowledge and help you interpret thoughts and even dreams. It is a way to discover who you truly are. By this I mean it can help you work through things in a way to know that it is something you like or believe and not something you do or believe just because others told you to. It can teach you to trust that inner voice that comes out and helps you see what's up! Interpreting all of these things and figuring out what truly resonates with you on a heart and soul level can help build up your self-confidence, self-esteem, as well as helping you to express yourself more clearly.

3. Problem Solving

When it comes to solving problems we can sometimes make hasty decisions and they can lead to more drama and stress if they are not the best. Now, I understand that we don't always have the ability to stop and write through our issues in a journal but if you start practicing this for situations where it is possible to stop and write it can teach you some key practices. Journaling our problems forces us to slow down. Once we have slowed down and taken a beat we are able to reflect, feel our emotions, and gain insight from the other person's perspective. Once you have done this a few times via journaling we can translate that into a practice in situations where we don't always have time to sit down and write. As we have practiced slowing down and thinking before we act on a situation it can help us to take a breath or two in these higher stress situations before we act on impulse.

4. Stress Reduction and Health Benefits

Speaking of stressful situations, if we journal these stresses out it can relieve some of the stress that we carry in our bodies. If we keep stress and anger inside for too long it can actually pop its ugly head out in the form of physical illness like back pain, the tension between your shoulders, or even an actual cold or flu. Instead of keeping these things inside we can journal them out and release them. It can help us work through these things and even be therapeutic for us. I am not saying to use it to replace therapy if you need it but it can help with some of the smaller daily stressors, anger, and pent-up emotions.

5. Reflecting and Critical Thinking

Journaling can give you the space that you need to reflect on things that you have been told by others or read in books or on the internet. As you reflect on these things you can create your own opinion about what you believe. This is critical thinking at its finest because instead of just taking what you see, hear, or read at face value you can take time to really get into it and see what you truly believe. This also can give you the chance to look back on past situations and figure out triggers you may have so that you can avoid turning a bad situation worse by reacting without thinking first. Reflecting on how situations went and how you would have preferred them to go can give you an inside look at why things went that way and how to avoid it in the future.

6. Strengthens Self-Discipline

If you are able to set aside time to journal daily then you will feel more able to add new things into your routine and stick to them. It is like keeping an office clean and then having that transfer to other rooms in your house to keep them clean as well. Disciplining yourself to write daily will flex your discipline muscle and the more we flex muscles the stronger they get.

7. Achieving Goals

The more we write out our goals, dreams, and ambitions the more we indicate to our brain that they are important. This can, in turn, make the opportunities that pop up to make that dream a reality more relevant in your mind's eye when they come up. If you still don't think that writing down your goals and dreams will help you to achieve them let's put it in terms of a building. When people want to build a building they work up some plans of what they would like it to look like. This is the same as your dreams you need to write up a "blueprint" of how you can work towards achieving it. It doesn't just happen!

8. Spark Creativity

This can happen through journaling when you sit down and just write whatever flows out of you. This is achieved by not worrying about grammar (punctuation or spelling) or the fact that everything is on the same topic. This is what can be called 'stream of consciousness' when you just write everything that comes to mind. It can end up being the start of one sentence then right in the middle the start of another sentence as your mind jumps. That is okay and it is important that you just set a timer for 5 minutes (or however long that you can) and just write. Don't worry about how much time you have left, if your sentences are correct, or even if you spelled words correctly. You truly never know what will come out in these sessions.

As I mentioned above this list is not exhaustive and as you have probably noticed some of them are very intertwined with one another. If you have any other reasons for why you journal, please put them in the comments as I would love to hear from you.

If you would like more information about ways to journal, things to keep in mind while journaling, and ways to get started just click on the corresponding words for the link to those blog posts!


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