Journaling has been around for centuries, yet many people never even heard of it, or if they heard of it, they didn’t put it in practice. A lot of the time I heard that It takes too much time, it is silly, why would you want to do it?
Journaling has been proven to have many benefits. Mainly it can help your development, it can help to turn around negative self-talk and beliefs, also it can help turn around your thinking. You can gain an insight into your behaviours and habits and it is also a great tool as part of a healing process.
When you set out to journal you have to be specific as to what your journal be about so you can get the maximum benefits. Personally I have a Gratitude Journal and a Victory Journal.
Gratitude Journals are a great tool to help you rewire your brain. There have been several studies conducted into this practice and have found impressive benefits of writing down things we are grateful for and give thanks for. The biggest benefit of this practice is an improved rate of happiness.
Unfortunately we tend to find the negative things in life a lot easier than the positive things. If you keep a gratitude journal, and write down even just 5 things a day that you are grateful for, suddenly your focus is on the positive things in your life. Being positive raises your energy levels. But to achieve this, you must actually decide to be happier and truly be grateful, not just go through the motions.
The entries don’t have to be long, just a simple ‘I am so grateful for a lovely night spent with my children!’ Although elaborating on this experience than ranting through several meaningless items, you don’t have to write a novel. Do take your time however, do not rush through.
Focus on people, starting with yourself, your family and friend. It makes it easier to feel the positive emotions rising. Becoming for what life has to offer will stop you taking things for granted and instead makes you really appreciate things.
I find that doing a gratitude journal first thing in the morning sets me up for a great day.
On the other hand I have a Victory Journal. I had a terrible habit of not acknowledging myself and all the things I achieved in my life, til someone recommended that I start keeping a victory journal.
I think it is a great thing! Basically I have goals, the goals are broken down to small targets and tasks. So each evening I sit down and write down all the things I have achieved that day. Sometimes it may just be making a contact with a long lost friend, other times it can be the completion of a large project. Either way, it actually makes me think and acknowledge my achievements.
This exercise helps building a positive self-esteem and assists in building up a positive belief in one self. It is highly empowering. It also forces you to change that negative self-talk that followed you around before to a positive self-talk, because you now see and celebrate your achievements.
I suggest if nothing else, you start these two journals. However there are plenty of material out there to read up on if you want to use your journal for healing, stress management and the likes.
Just some last thoughts on journaling, whilst there are several apps out there these days, nothing beats the emotional connection between you a pen and paper. It becomes more real, and provides a greater outcome in the long run.