Do you remember having a diary? Maybe you were a teenager, during high school? The diary served as an emotional outlet, when friends couldn’t be found or parents didn’t understand. We could always count on our pen and pad to help us through our feelings. Heck, that’s essentially what songs are too, right? A written explanation of an emotional experience orchestrated to a beat. It’s therapeutic to get all of our stuff out, right?
Well, the grown-up version of that ‘diary’ outlet is a journal. And it’s so easy to not journal: 1. It doesn’t sound cool at times. Maybe not something you bring up to the boss or share with new friends; 2. Who has the time? We are all so busy with a career or raising a family that we barely make time for ourselves until we have to; and 3. As a grown-up, we kind of feel like we should have ourselves together enough, or at least more than the teenager we once were, to not “need” this outlet. We can quickly fix ourselves just using our mind, silently to ourselves, right?
I’m here to say, journaling is gonna have to become a lot more cool for you. No, really. You, like all of us, want a better life…our best lives. Well, here are my top 3 compelling reasons to create a new habit of journaling:
- Reducing Stress: Okay, we need better stress management in our lives. Period. And even if you say you’re not stressed but you have chronic pain in your back or some other thing going on that won’t go away, reevaluate the stress present in your life. Plus, in this day and age, it’s so easy to tweet about your current frustration than it is to go within and deal with yourself first before the entire cyber world. Writing down frustrations, irritations and any feelings, allow for healthy processing of our emotions. Just the act of getting our thoughts out of our mind and onto paper, there is scientific proof, we feel better. Whether 16 or 60, we are all still trying to process this thing called life with it’s curveballs and disappointments. The more help we offer our minds, the healthier we will be. And stress is a part of life whether we like it or not. How we deal with it, is the game changer.
- Acquiring Clarity: You know that feeling when your mind is all over the place? Well, we have over 60,000 thoughts a day…so feeling unsure or unfocused is really easy. To help clear jumbled up thoughts and feelings, write them down. Check in with yourself daily. If something is stirring you up, it’s helpful to get it out of your head and on to paper. It doesn’t have to make sense. Even if you just wrote for a minute straight, with whatever came to your mind, you would feel better. I’m serious. Writing allows you to review your thought patterns and your perspective on situations.
- Increased Focus on Goals: If there is an area of focus in your life right now, like thankfulness or spirituality, you can create your own template on journaling so that you set up a daily touchpoint on that topic. For example, in my journal, I always start by writing the top 10 things I am thankful for that day. It helps me maintain my focus on thankfulness and centering my energy. I also include affirmations that I’m working on so that I also maintain my concentration in the ways I want to go.
As I give all these suggestions today, I’m also making them to myself. I want to live my best life. I need better stress management, more clarity and focus. I commit to better journaling, no more flaky journaling…join me!