How can journaling improve my life?
I am the biggest fan of journaling.
Like, if “journaling” was a brand, I would be the spokesperson.
Like, Paper Source is my Disney World
and I own more journals and notebooks than any normal person probably should.
Okay, you get the idea.
I don’t know what it is about it, but having a nice blank space to write out all your thoughts and feelings is so therapeutic. I used to be someone who would bottle up my emotions and I had trouble vocalizing my needs and desires. It turns out writing in a journal was the best way for me to get everything out of my head and onto paper.
Not only is journaling a great way to vent, but it also has other benefits.
Here are five ways journaling daily can improve your life:
JOURNAL FOR STRESS RELIEF
Journaling can be both relaxing and entertaining.
If you’re dealing with stress, journaling gives you the opportunity to vent it out.
Or if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can break down your to-do list and make a plan of action.
If you need a good distraction, you can journal about your dream life, your dream career, your favorite movie, or make up a crazy scenario involving kangaroos wearing sombreros (I don’t know, use your imagination).
Use journaling as a way to handle your anxiety or boost your mood.
JOURNAL FOR SELF-DISCOVERY
Writing out how you feel or what you want in life can give you a better understanding of who you are and what’s important to you.
I like to dig deep into myself and journal about my core values and what lights me up. Journaling gives me the opportunity to just braindump everything I have held up in my sub-conscience and allows me to uncover things about myself I might not have addressed.
The next time you had a bad day or are worried about something coming up, write about what’s going through your head and why you might be feeling how you’re feeling- you might discover more about yourself than you have before.
JOURNAL FOR MEMORY
Growing up, my mom would bring a hardback notebook to every trip we went on, every family reunion and vacation, every birthday and Christmas. The shelf in her office was lined with dozens of these journals, each marked with a different year.
I’m so grateful that she preserved these memories for us. Because she journaled, I’ll be able to look back on my childhood memories. I’ll also be able to keep a part of my mom forever and I get to see the past from her perspective, how cool is that?
I’ve taken to doing this too. Even journaling about “insignificant” days can be special to look back on in the future. You’ll be able to take yourself back in time and re-visit how you were feeling at one point in your life.
JOURNAL FOR GOAL-SETTING
Let’s get down to business… (please tell me you sang the rest of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” in your head too)
Write out your goals and intentions. Follow-through with those new year’s resolutions you might have forgotten about. Journaling puts your plans onto paper and your goals into action.
I like to write out intentions each month for what I want to achieve and where I want to go. I also like to look back on my goals from the previous month and reflect on how I can improve.
JOURNAL FOR PRACTICING GRATITUDE
Gratitude lists will change your life. (I mean, Oprah does it every day so it must be good.)
Taking time to write out what you’re grateful for in your life is the best mood improvement on the market. You can list out things you are thankful for or you can write letters to the people who matter the most to you.
Gratitude journaling regularly changed my attitude about my life. I found it much easier to notice the little instances of joy around me and to appreciate what I have. It’s an instant remedy for a bad day and gets you out of a negative headspace (at least temporarily). I probably sound like a cheesy old infomercial salesman promoting a “life-changing, oh-my-gosh-you-gotta-try-it” product on QVC… but yeah, you gotta try it, it’ll change your life.
Want to start a daily journal habit? Here are some prompts to get you started.