I created this blog for the main reason to help people battle mental health issues and to encourage readers to start taking care of themselves. And if you ask me to give only one piece of advice to my readers, that is to make journaling a habit.
If you think journaling is only for those who are organized, artistic, or have mental health issues, then you’re wrong. Although I started journaling when I was diagnosed with a mental disorder, it’s really beneficial even for those who just want to document their thoughts and live a more mindful life.
In fact, did you know that journaling is considered one of the common habits of most successful people in the world?
Bill Gates and Richard Branson are some of the few billionaires who are considered “devoted note-takers”.
Richard Branson, who goes through dozens of notebooks every year, credits some of his most successful companies to the simple habit of jotting down ideas.
So, If you’re reading this, then maybe this is a slight nudge from God to begin your journaling journey.
Let’s first talk about the different types of journaling:
・Everyday diary, and a lot more!
Just know that whatever kind of journal you get started with, all reaps amazing benefits and here are just some of the reasons why you should get started with one:
1. To Get to Know Yourself More
When I was younger, I have my Dear-Diary type of journal (Very high school, right?). I would write there the most important events in my life, like when I talk to my crush, when I had a fight with my best friend, when we went to the beach with my family, or whenever I feel emotional, I try to write it in my diary.
And now that I am an adult, I cringe whenever I read those diary entries, knowing how stupid and innocent I was back then.
I feel so shy thinking why I wrote those things…I thought to myself, “how selfish I was back then!” But it was also great to see my personality and my outlook when I was a little kid.
By writing what makes you happy and what ruins your day, it can also help you better understand your feelings and emotions.
In the same way, journaling will also give you interesting revelations about yourself through the years.
2. To Remind Yourself of Your Goals and Measure Your Progress
I always have my Goal and weekly Habit tracker page in my journal.
One of the things I learned by reading Atomic Habits by James Clear is that the habits you created will help you to reach your goal. That is why it is more important to set a system first in order to achieve your goal.
For example, my goal is to be a morning person, so I want to have a habit of waking up at 6 am. Or if I want to finish 3 books in a month, my habit could be to read a book every day for an hour.
The reason Journaling can help you to achieve your goal is that when you write what your goals are and track your habits in order to build a system, you are committing yourself to do it.
3. To Increase Self-discipline
By having a set goal, a set habit, and an everyday to-do list, I was able to be reminded of all the things that I have to do by the end of the day. And you know what? Checking off the items in my to-do list makes me feel productive and proud of myself!
Your journal can be your accountability partner. You can always check on it and remind yourself of your everyday agendas.
4. To Organize your Thoughts
Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2,500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. And for those who have mental health issues, that could be very overwhelming if the thoughts swirling in our heads are leaning towards worry, anxiety, or negativity
For me, I have a Brain Dump page in my journal where I put almost every thought I have like business ideas, food I want to learn how to cook, things I want to buy but no budget or not urgent, etc.I write here all the thoughts that comes to mind that needs more research to arrive at a wise decision.
I also have an Anxiety Worksheet to help me identify my anxiety triggers and how I can resolve those anxious thoughts.
Depending on what kind of journal you want to have, you can have different pages where you can put your thoughts into categories and write them accordingly.
5. To Heal your Emotional Wounds
Writing is therapeutic, as one psychologist quotes:
“If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal is a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve mental health.”
Your journal is your personal item. Nobody is supposed to read what you write there so you can get your guards down and allow thoughts to flow freely without thinking that others will read and judge you for that. It is better to listen to your thoughts and feelings and express them in writing than to create a storm in your head.
6. To Cultivate a Heart Full of Gratitude
In our current situation, filled with bad news, social media bashing, and destructive gossip, it is so easy to attract negativity. This impacts the way we think, and results to worry, comparison, jealousy, disappointments, and discontentment.
By practicing everyday gratitude , we can help ourselves pay attention to the good things that we take for granted . It also helps us to feel content and not seek pleasures in the wrong places.
7. To Help you Identify your Fears, Worries, and Negative Thoughts
I use my journal to help me identify what triggers my anxiety. Though I know it takes more time to fully understand myself, little by little I get to know those automatic thoughts in my head and where my worries are coming from.
Once I identified what causes my negative emotions, I start to work on them one step at a time.
Ready to Start Journaling?
There are lots of reasons to start journaling and the 7 reasons mentioned above are just what I can think at the TOP of my head. For some, Journaling makes them more productive or helps them to improve cognitive functioning.
For me, no matter what you want to write in your journal, I assure you that it will at least help you to reduce stress and boost your mood.
Have you started journaling in the past? What benefits do you think you got from journaling? Or is there something that hinders you to continue journaling?
If this article made you want to journal but don’t know where to start, you can read 5 Steps to start a Journal and make it a habit to guide you on your journaling journey.