Keeping a journal can be beneficial in many ways. Two of the most well-known uses are for sorting out your thoughts or for keeping a record of daily events. But journaling can serve many other purposes. For example, as a free and entirely self-managed form of therapy, it’s actually quite effective if you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, or going through a rough patch in life. Even when you’ve managed to reach and sustain a state of emotional balance and mental peace, there are several significant ways in which journaling can improve your life.
Evoke A Sense of Mindfulness
Far too often, people move from day to day without ever stopping to smell the proverbial roses. Not only are they failing to feel and express gratitude for the many wonderful things that that are happening in their lives, but they’re also overlooking a number of tremendous, learning opportunities. Writing in a journal forces you to stop and reflect on seemingly minor events that might otherwise go overlooked.
This practice isn’t just about noticing the positive things in life either. During the process of writing about your day and your interactions with others, you may notice negative patterns repeating themselves in your thoughts and deeds, problems within your personal relationships, personal needs that you haven’t been paying attention to, and alternative ways of responding to both internal and external stress that you haven’t been using.
Establish a Positive Mindset
When you keep a journal, you have the power to fill it with any type of material that you choose. Spending time to reflect on the small blessings in life, however, can automatically move you from a negative and self-defeating mindset into a more positive and proactive one. You might be swimming in debt, struggling in your inter-personal relationships, or barely hanging on at your job, but you also have the ability to walk, run and jump, which is something that many people lack.
You have another day to affect change in your life, strong mental abilities, the power of self-forgiveness, and more. Taking the time to list out things that establish you as stronger, smarter, and more enduring than the problems that you’re facing at the present moment will give you the strength, and the right attitude to keep pushing forward.
Start Forming New Goals
Journals are also great tools for overall life planning. If you’ve ever wondered how some people seem to have their whole lives figured out, you should consider the fact that these individuals may be keeping journals. The best part about using a journal to establish and pursue life goals is the fact that this process can be an entirely informal one. This is merely a platform for bouncing ideas around and helping them take shape. Once you’re ready to make an actual commitment to a new life effort, you can always take notes from your journal and use them to draft a more formal plan.
Enhance Your Creative Potential
The act of journaling can be an incredibly creative process as well. After all, you’re not just writing about the things that have happened or are happening in your life; you’re also writing about the way in which you want things to be. This flexes your imagination, enhances your creative skills, and promotes new and far more interesting ways of thinking. For some people, journaling has even given rise to some fairly impressive< works of fiction and fan fiction. If you're a writer or aspire to be a writer, a journal gives you sufficient private space for writing without fear of judgment.
Build Better Communication Skills
In the very long list of benefits that regular journaling can provide, better communication is hardly the least. The practice of writing about your thoughts and feelings will make you more adept in issuing thoughtful responses. It will also improve your emotional intelligence, thereby making you better able to respond to the wants and needs of others in an empathetic way.