Here's Why Journaling is my Favorite Personal Development Exercise
1. It allows us to develop mindfulness.
It is a form of relaxation and therapy in itself. Taking time from or after a busy day to just sit down with your notebook and a pen can ease a very cluttered mind. Negative thoughts tend to fester in our heads, causing us unnecessary anxiety and if we dont process them, it gets repressed and it only builds up more and more as we try to avoid them.
Every morning, I try to write in a stream of consciousness wherein I write as thoughts come to my mind without a care about grammar or punctuation. Without filtering anything, in a brain dump form. I feel lighter and ready to act with intention flow in alignment.., instead of just being passive.
2. It fosters self awareness.
There are so much to discover about ourselves and whenever I journal, it’s like I meet myself all over again. Writing allows you to figure out your dreams and your passion. To know more of yourself. You’ll be able to answer questions such as “what are your visions for this year?” or“what are the top five things that light you up?” “what are your top 3 values?” or “what do you want your legacy to be?”
Being disconnected from yourself and feeling burnt out can be so easy when youre caught up in the amount of tasks but journaling helps us tap into that state of self awareness. There’s the reconnection that gets lost in between comparison and perfectionism in our work.
3. Helps us handle our emotions in a healthy way
Im not really so big on opening up to people. It’s not something Im proud of or that I promote in anyway but my journal really is a big deal for me. It’s where I find company and solace. When I journal, there’s no fear of judgment. There’s no fear of being misunderstood. I can just write down how I feel and let it run on paper without worrying if im being petty or ungrateful or immature.
When my feelings are on the rise, Im quick to turn to my journal so I could better understand myself and why I feel a certain way. It helps us gain a better understanding of the current situation and have a different perspective on things because youre actually processing your thoughts and emotions.
4. Helps us find clarity
On average, we have about 50,000 thoughts that come and go. Our mind can easily get cluttered and journaling allows us to organize our thinking. I found that scribbling down, creating mindmaps, or lots and lots of lists, help in calming myself down and processing ideas. Getting those ideas on to paper, especially when they are goals, make it easier to break them down and come up with a course of actions to take. There are many questions that we ponder on everyday. Most of the time, the answers we are seeking cant be found from any outside source. As they say everything we are seeking is within us.
5. Journaling is a great way to document your journey and learn from it.
As much as I love documenting life through photographs and videos, there’s something about getting the story on to paper, and telling it with your own words.
Journals are like our own personal archive of our own life. There are so many things that I couldve forgotten if it wasnt for these notebooks. Some entries are so funny, some brings me back to an adventure, and some I cant bring myself to finish reading but nevertheless Im grateful it’s there. I can look back at the bad things and see how they are not rejections but rather, they were redirecting me to an even better phase of life.
6. And lastly, Journaling is a tool that fosters self love and self growth
Journaling allows you to nurture your own relationship with yourself. By being present and getting to know more of you in the process of writing down how you feel or what runs in your mind. It is a safe place for your secrets, for your emotions or anything where you can let your guard down because the pages arent going to judge you.
I will admit that when I was younger, I used to dream of publishing my journal someday. Like Anne Frank. But that has made me be conscious of what I was writing and putting in it. Eventually I understood that journaling is something that we do for ourselves and for ourselves alone.
Now, i dont think about how would people make sense of my journal, but instead, I think about the older version of myself who would go back to these pages. This is my gift to her, this is her story.
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