Today, I want to talk about journaling. I know I’ve brought it up in other podcast episodes and blog posts, but this is SUCH AN IMPORTANT topic that I wanted to dedicate an entire episode and blog post to this.
If you’re a personal development junky like me, you probably get told all the time to journal. And, if you’re like me, you may have avoided actually doing it for years EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW IT IS GOOD FOR YOU.
I don’t want to spend this post lecturing you to journal, trying to convince you that it is important. I’m sure you already know.
Instead, I want to talk about some of the benefits of journaling that have been proven by scientific studies (that I’ll link in the show notes), so that if you’re on the verge of picking up this habit and just need one more reason…hopefully one of these is a good enough “why” to get you started.
What are the benefits of journaling?
Let's jump right in...the benefits of journaling include:
Healthier immune system
Increased focus throughout the day
Improved problem solving skills
Ability to heal from past traumas
Your body can heal faster
You're generally happier, more often, and for longer
You become less reactive
Lower blood pressure
Contentment within your life
More grateful for what you have
Increased emotional intelligence
Improved cognitive behavior
Easier to gain perspective on a tough situation
So if you have been thinking about getting on the journaling train, start and START NOW. Grab one or two of those gorgeous journals you probably already bought with the intent of journaling in….maybe it is filled with work notes or shopping lists? Grab it and start.
Remember,,,, you do not have to be perfect about this. You don’t have to be in your favorite chair, with your music going, at your desk, with tea, facing east, with incense, or your favorite pen. Don't let the overwhelm of getting started keep you from adopting this beneficial habit. Hell, you can journal on the back of a damn receipt for all I care.
Also, do not worry about grammar, word choice, how dumb you think you sound, punctuation, handwriting, nothing. Honestly, the more run on sentences, the better. That means you’re more focused on the content than the act of writing.
And, if your handwriting is sloppy, it has the added benefit of privacy! I intentionally make my writing as sloppy as possible so that I know I'm not focused on the act, and instead being present while working through my journaling.
Commit to 5 minutes a day. If you’re really busy, make it the first 5 minutes of your day so that you can get it done before your emails, calls, and family come flying in.
And, you can change up what you journal about from day-to-day.
Journaling topic suggestions:
Challenges you're working though
Things you're excited about
Ideas you need to write down
Stressors in your life
Describe your future life (manifestation)
Your perfect day in DETAIL
Unconscious writing (let the words flow without thought)
Rage writing (have a fit so you can release the negative energy)
Let your inner child out and let it have a tantrum
Write down all the things you want to say, but can't or shouldn’t
When you're done, no matter the topic you choose to write about, be sure to end on a positive note. Thank the journal for allowing you to vent, share, or dream and then mention a few things you’re grateful for.
This also allows your mind to get (back) into a positive space if you needed to release any negative thoughts or feelings. Allow yourself to feel them, release them, and then fill that void with positivity to ensure you're maintaining your manifestation energy.
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Check out this discussion in podcast form:
Additional resources mentioned:
The Brain-Based Benefits of Writing for Math and Science Learning, George Lucas Educational Foundation, Judy Willis
How to Navigate Tough Conversations, Bre Brown