Some people may think that journaling couldn’t possibly affect our wellbeing, since it’s just writing down a bunch of words on paper. But on the contrary, journaling actually has many benefits for us, and I’m going to share some of those benefits below. So grab a pen and your journal, it’s time to write!
1. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
This is often a big reason why people get into journaling. Writing down our fears, and concerns can help us to not hold onto them. By placing these stressful or anxiety-inducing thoughts onto the paper, we can get them out of our head for the time being. As a secondary benefit to this, often this will positively affect our sleep since they’re not taking up so much room in our minds at the end of the day.
2. Improves Communication Skills
With the constant practice of journaling, our communication skills can be positively impacted. Over time, we become clearer writers and better at describing our wants and needs, which can then benefit communication in relationships.
3. Helps You Learn from Experience
Journaling makes us more reflective people. After some time, you may begin to reflect on your day or a situation without even meaning to! Reflecting and learning from experience is important because it helps us realize what can be done differently in a conversation or a situation, and what we can do better next time. This also makes us better problem-solvers.
4. Moves You Toward Your Goals
We can write down our goals and the steps to achieve them in our journals. By writing them down, you can better identify what it is you want. Splitting them up into steps makes it more likely to achieve because you can physically see what needs to get done, and you can also see any potential roadblocks. This also makes achieving your goals more possible, as you’ve committed to them in writing and can hold yourself accountable.
Journaling works best when done consistently. If you don’t have the time to write every day, that’s okay! Start with a plan to write 3-4 times a week, and set aside some time when you can do this — before bed, after dinner, or right when you get up. If you find you’re having trouble getting started, that’s okay, too. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, and write for those 5 or 10 minutes straight — the only rule is you cannot stop writing, so whatever comes into your head, write it down! You may be surprised at what you discover with this free-flow technique.
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