Journaling is a great way to take a step away from the revolving door of thoughts in your own mind and gain some clarity around difficult or challenging situations. I have been filling journals myself for over 16 years and it has become a bit of a necessary ritual. It helps me to process through problems, release the flood of ideas that sometimes take ahold of me and document what is going on in my mind.
To some people that sounds scary! Who wants their thoughts documented in one place for potentially anyone to read? Well, to that I have a few things to say: 1) You have to trust the people in your life to respect your privacy! 2) Your journals probably wouldn’t be as interesting to someone else to read as you think they might be, so get over yourself and 3) It is OK to be raw and vulnerable in your journaling, in fact it is recommended!
There have been plenty of instances where I’ll re-read old journals and think, “Wow, was I off my rocker” or “I can’t believe I let that bother me so much!” But rather than beat myself up, I celebrate how far I’ve come and take solace in the continual process of self-improvement I’ve committed myself to.
As much as there are silly or frivolous things that I’ve jotted down, there are also moments of profound insight; I’ll later re-read my journal and reflect on the good advice I’d given myself. In addition, I’ll make note of my dreams, my ambitions, my intentions to later celebrate that it has since become a reality in my life. There’s just something about the simple act of writing things down that not only helps me to let go but empowers me to embark on new adventures and take steps towards my long term goals.
But enough about my own experiences. I am sharing my own story to encourage you to practice journaling.
So, why journal? Because it is a valuable and profound activity that helps you:
- To process through thoughts and ideas that feel stuck
- To release tension, anxiety or negative feelings that hold you back
- To be completely honest with yourself without fear or pressure from others
- To set your intentions and take action towards your goals and your ambitions
- To develop a deeper level of self-awareness (by literally seeing your own train of thought)
So, give it a try! Maybe you’ll write daily, or weekly, there’s no wrong way to practice journaling. There have been plenty of instances where I’ve gone months without journaling myself. So even if you don’t sustain the practice to begin with you can always pick it up again later, when you’re ready and willing to make the most of the opportunity.