17 Sep Journaling – It Will Improve Your Life
Journaling is simply one of the best habits to have to increase your wellbeing. If you read this article and you don’t start doing it, you are probably missing out. By journaling, you can have a better emotional, physical and dare I say, spiritual life. I will link to many other articles which say pretty much the same thing and give you a hand full of the best tips and tricks to do starting out. It has been written about extensively in other places and there is no point in reinventing the wheel here. The point I want to drive home is that you need to just start journaling if you want a better life.
So many leaders and famous people have used journaling to find clarity and document their life journeys. Any tough decisions we need to make become clearer when we see what we face written in front of us. It’s so obvious but many of us keep everything in our heads. The stress and anxiety created from keeping ideas, problems, half-solved puzzles, unspoken conversations, chores, to-do lists in our heads is one of the biggest reasons for increased numbers of people suffering from these things.
If this sounds like you, your solution is journaling!
Why Journaling, Rob?
It doesn’t even take so long and you can do it almost anywhere! You can use any medium, pen and paper, you can use a digital format or you can even record your thoughts using a voice recorder. There are many apps for this sort of thing like otter.ai which dictates your words as you speak. Whatever you use, just start writing and expressing what is taking up space in your mind.
There is a bundle of science behind the benefits you can gain from keeping a journal too. This includes looking at how the reflexive exercise of journaling can increase performance by up to 25%. Journaling improves the well-being of people who have experienced traumatic events. It’s been proven to enhance our communication skills. It can even help us fall asleep quicker. There are seriously so many benefits that I really have to question why you haven’t already started yet? No really, I don’t mind if you shut this tab down and just begin now!
How It Helped Me Personally?
Ok, if you are still here, here’s how it has benefited me in the last number of years in my business, health and relationships. When I started my coaching business, it felt like I was thrown in the deep end and I was sinking. Journaling helped me get clear on the next steps I needed to take and to take the edge off the frustrations I was feeling. But for my daily habit of writing my thoughts, I probably would have thrown in the towel and given up. My partner and my coach also played key roles in keeping me going. But there was definitely that vision and purpose which I established through my consistent journaling practice that kept me going too. I have also made journaling a core element of my coaching programmes.
Recently, I have also been able to uncover many of the beliefs that were holding me back in terms of my physical health. Until last year, I viewed physical exercise as a kind of an optional life choice. I didn’t see it as something integral to overall health and I uncovered some beliefs about that based on my life history. I decided to create a new identity for myself which incorporated physical exercise into my life. Since last December, I have been going to the gym (bar the lockdown period) at least 3 times a week and have radically changed my body shape and strength.
No Really, Just Do It!
To be honest, I can’t really remember what it is like psychologically to be a non-journaler. I do know for a fact that as a journaler, I do not suffer from stress or prolonged anxiety. Sure, things can make me feel anxious, but they are normal things like a couple of moments before giving an important talk in front of people or doing an important task. But I do not fret about the small stuff like I used to. I used to have a million things orbiting my head back in my 20s and early 30s. Now, stuff like that makes me laugh because its all out on paper and able to be taken care of.
You see a journal is like having a new best friend. You can tell them anything. They do not judge. They do not even give advice, They just listen. And they listen really well. They can repeat every single word back that you tell them. I suggest that you tell them everything. Anything and everything that is occupying your mind or causing you an ounce of distress are worthy of confiding to your journal. You will not regret it!
Ok, How Do I?
Here’s a couple of what to do tips that I am almost reluctant to recommend but you might find helpful. I say I am reluctant to recommend it because your journaling practice is yours. To make it an established habit, you need to experiment and find what works for you.
- Get a nice thing to write in (you will keep it safe and enjoy writing in it)
- If you use a digital format, don’t edit/delete errors until the end of your flow.
- Go for at least 15 minutes (ultimately, aim for consistency rather than a set time)
- Use prompts if you cannot think of anything to write (you can find prompts online)
- Write about what is lingering for you emotionally
- Do not censor yourself (at all)
- Don’t show anyone if you don’t want to (this is incredibly personal stuff)
- Set yourself a target to do it every day for 1 month
If after a month, you’ve found it useful, you can use it as you see fit after that. I aim for 15 minutes a day. Aim for consistency over duration!
I’d love to hear your results as you begin or if you have any questions or challenges. You can reach out to me at email@example.com with anything related to this or otherwise.
I am a Freedom Coach and Mentor – I help freedom-loving people in their early/mid-career create a Successful Mindset. If you would like to explore some of these themes and move towards achieving more freedom this year, let’s connect and set up a call.