Written by Angelica White on September 28
What is journaling?
Maybe you have heard of this term at some point throughout your life.
Or maybe you are familiar with the term but only by association. Meaning you have had a habit of collecting pretty journals for years. Then when you finally get around to spring cleaning, you realize you have an insane amount of journals of all sorts. Short, tall, glitter decorated, some adorned with beautiful quotes and scriptures, physical or digital journals. If we are really being honest, only a few of them have notes jotted down in them or maybe you pinned your thoughts two or three times but havent revisited the journal since. Please know this is no shade at all. It’s only to let you know I get it. The struggle to consistently journal and check back in with said journal is definitely real.
The good thing is that even though the world tries to force perfection on us in every way. The real goal is to keep pushing forward applying the lessons learned along the way. If we are willing to journey into journaling not expecting perfection but knowing that there are benefits to journaling. I believe we can see drastic results. Let’s get into journaling, it’s meaning and it’s benefits to our life.
Web MD states that “Journaling is the act of keeping a record of your personal thoughts, feelings, insights, and more. It can be written, drawn, or typed. It can be on paper or on your computer. It’s a simple, low-cost way of improving your mental health.”
One of the key things this definition highlights is that journaling can be insightful. We have all had a moment where we have a great idea or major revelation but it strikes at an inconvenient time. Having a running journal nearby can be beneficial during those times. Being able to jot down things can also help ideas continue to flow. Allowing space to flesh out an idea and build upon it can result in getting clear on your goals and a plan to accomplish your goals. Research shows writing things down helps to clear the mind and helps bring mental clarity. At times we can find ourselves rehashing the same thoughts over and over which leads to overthinking and overanalyzing. Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps get out of your head and provide the mental clarity you are seeking.
Most times, being intentional in scheduling time to write or type your thoughts is the toughest part. Once you actually begin writing you find that the thoughts begin to pour. After you have written down your thoughts, feelings and intentions you now have a written account and can sort through them and establish a plan for the future. This highlights the importance of having a designated journal and checking in with that journal consistently to help hold you accountable to do the things you said you were going to do. No matter if it’s a gratitude journal or food journal, checking in periodically encourages you to keep going when you can easily track your progress. Having a journal overall helps you track your growth and documents your journey to meeting your goals. If last year you were trying to become more mentally present and you began using a gratitude journal to practice mindfulness and now a year later you find that you are less stressed and able to find joy in the small things. You now have a reference point to see what worked and what didn't. To go back through your journal to see if you have had more good days than bad and to easily refer to the milestones and obstacles you have faced within the year. But it also works to show if you haven’t stayed on top of your goals or have unaddressed emotions. If you started a prayer journal last year because you were experiencing a lot of changes and emotional distress. But after using the journal three times you put it down and never looked back. After finding it 7 months later you realize you have the same unresolved feelings and can’t quite recall the lessons you’ve learned through your past challenges.
I am very much aware of the many to-do lists, mounting priorities and schedules we all have to manage. Journaling definitely takes intentional effort but the rewards are honestly endless.
Here’s a recap of the benefits we have covered here:
- Being able to capture good ideas and revelations when they strike.
- Helps clear your mind. (Most of us are thinking of 1,000 things an hour.)
- Gives mental clarity. Journalimg helps you sort through how you are feeling. Journaling helps you get out of your head, put thoughts to paper and establish a clear plan for the future.
- Holds you accountable. (Did you do what you said you were going to do?)
- Tracks growth and documents lessons learned.
Don’t over complicate journaling. You don't have to invest hundreds of dollars in the fanciest of journals. It’s more important that you begin and make the effort to prioritize journaling in your daily life. Feel free to journal about anything of importance to you. Your emotions, thoughts, plans or experiences. Get intentional in decluttering your mind and you will be amazed with the results.
All RIghts Reserved. Authentik Life 2021