I love journaling. I hate journaling. It's a complicated relationship.
Sometimes journaling is like picking daisies in a meadow and making pretty flower crowns. Other times it's like pulling a week-old fabric bandaid off of your arm.
The reality is, journaling has a lot of benefits, but trying to push past the dread of self-reflection and awareness can be tough. But don't give up. If you've never gotten into journaling, here are seven reasons why you should buckle down and do it!
1. Journaling calms your mind.
We're human beings with incredible brains, which means we can think a lot quicker than we write. That process of filtering what comes out onto the paper helps us identify what really matters, and helps us focus on finding solutions rather than wallowing in the sad bits.
2. Journaling grounds you.
Because your mind is try to filter through your thoughts to decide what to write, you slowly begin to lose the ability to lie to yourself. Your brain is too overworked to keep lying to you. You may find yourself writing thoughts and feelings down on paper that you didn't even know were yours.
3. Journaling makes you more self-aware.
All of those thoughts and feelings that you didn't know were yours are probably the answers to a lot of questions you've been having about yourself lately that you weren't sure how to address. In fact, I've found I'll wrestle weeks or even months on a concept but if I actually sit down to journal through it, I have a new understanding of myself and the situation within fifteen minutes.
4. Journaling gives you room to accept your issues.
Journaling forces you to admit your problems. It's one thing to admit in your mind you have an addiction to shopping; it's another thing entirely to write it down. You aren't speaking it into existence; you're accepting it into your reality. And the more truth we accept in our reality, the more closely our reality aligns with true reality.
5. Journaling makes you feel normal.
People who journal understand themselves to a deeper extent, and they're more willing to accept the mistakes and flaws of others. Their own self-reflection has taught them that everyone has problems and everyone makes mistakes. It's hard to write about how you messed up a major issue at work and then not extend the same grace to your coworkers.
6. Journaling stretches your creative mind.
Where did all of that childhood imagination go? Believe it or not, it's still up there. If you work a job that doesn't require you to read or write very much, you're probably lacking in the imagination department. Writing helps you stretch your creative muscles, which in turn helps you see the world differently and makes you more likely to succeed. Which is my next point...
7. Journaling makes you more likely to succeed.
Becoming more creative, more accepting, and more self-aware are all things that help you grow as a human being, not just at your job, but in your relationships too.
So go to the bookstore, purchase an adorable, overpriced journal, and start writing! Every little bit helps. Just start with a small amount everyday. And who knows? Maybe one day you'll find yourself falling in love with the feeling of putting your thoughts on paper!