The benefits of journaling are many. The list below contains some of the ways journaling can support you. You might want to give journaling a try if this information appeals to you.
- Enhancing your focus and clarity
Taking time to journal can help you focus and bring clarity to your thinking. The mind is often full of thoughts, looping, and spinning. In contrast, it can be still and calm. Journaling can assist you in emptying thoughts thereby calming and slowing the brain. When we rid the brain of some of its contents it can work more optimally, increasing focusing.
By not returning to the same loops the brain can work more effectively, making more progress. The result can include clearer and organized thoughts that help our work and lives.
- Reducing your stress
When we write out our thoughts, expressing our emotions, we help to relieve the stress we are experiencing. When we write both down the good and bad experiences of our day, we can highlight the positive and purge the difficult. We can lighten the load both mentally and physically. I’m sure you have heard the term the mind-body connection. We can unleash tension from both the mind and body by journaling and feel the resulting relaxation. Journaling for just 15 minutes a day can thereby lower stress levels.
- Enhancing your career
Your private journaling aids in many ways listed in this blog, but writing can also add value to your career. When you write you often uncover themes and new ideas that can assist your work. Some people write blogs, workbooks, and/or books that enhance their careers. When fresh ideas are organized into a format and published they can add value to your work and inform others who may be interested in utilizing your services and products.
- Recovering your center and objectivity
Journaling can be a springboard for daily recovery. When we get difficult thoughts out on paper we can recover our ability to be present and centered recovering from these challenges. We can vent on paper when we journal which can give us a quick release of pent up thoughts and feelings. We can also recover objectivity from these experiences and get on with making progress in our life and work.
- Integrating your learning
Writing things down enhances your ability to retain information. The act of notation enhances your thoughts and memories associated while reading. Taking notes while listening to talks, podcasts or audio-books also helps you retain the knowledge you have heard. Writing helps you prioritize and separate important from insignificant information. Your memory can then target and integrate the salient information.
- Increasing your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is being able to identify our emotions and regulate them. Journaling can help you with both of these processes. When we identify what we are feeling in our journal the left brain can calm the right brain down. This is often a welcome experience, providing both understanding and information about what can be done about what we have found next.
Empathy, one part of emotional intelligence, is the act of understanding the emotions others are feeling. When we empathize we can relate to and support others through their experiences and problems. Being on the same page with others helps us to connect with others more thoroughly and deeply.
- Enhancing your creativity
Julie Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way promotes something she calls “morning pages”. For 10 minutes or more per day, she says to write whatever comes to mind, your stream of consciousness.
When we let our thoughts come to the surface unobstructed new ideas come to mind that can surprise and enhance your work and life. These ideas that flow enable us to create from the inside out. We are often recipients of external information through social media, google, and the internet; however the definition of creativity is letting ideas come forth. When we journal information that is within us comes to the surface and can enhance our process, work, and life.
- Finding meaning and priorities
Information that comes from journaling can provide insight as to what is most meaningful or important to you. You may not have realized how much you value the environment or how much watching daily news agitates you. Journaling can release themes like this. What you value and care about can make its way to the front and center of your life informing, guiding, and directing you. You can look over your writing watching for information that points to needed change in activities and priorities you may want to pursue.
- Increasing your self-confidence
Journaling about positive experiences helps you internalize your skills and accomplishments. Martin Seligman in his book Flourish outlines an interesting exercise. He says to write down three things that went well today and ask yourself why these experiences went well. Carrying out this exercise can boost your confidence levels by making you aware of your strengths and accomplishments. It can also help you to realize the skills and strengths of the supportive people you have around you.
- Solving your problems
Through the process of journaling, you can often find solutions to your problems. By spending time writing about a block or a goal you can find clues and subtleties about the situation that can enlighten and inform your progress. This food for thought and additional nuance can light your way on the path to your solution. Sometimes we need to look at the context, the environment, or content, details, of a situation to make headway. Writing about a goal or problem can help you round out the information needed to assist you on your way to solving your specific problem.
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