7 Benefits of Journaling to Inspire Your Practice
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Journaling is a fabulous tool. You don’t have to consider yourself a great writer to get into the knack. All you need is a pen and a pad of paper to gain the benefits of journaling.
However, you can transform this activity into a mindful, healing ritual. Here are seven benefits of journaling to inspire your practice and get your pen moving.
1. It Encourages Mindfulness
What is mindfulness? According to the folks at Mindful, the term refers to the innate human ability to be fully present, aware and alert to what we are doing, not overwhelmed by outside thoughts. To be mindful is to temporarily forget past ruminations and future fears and get swept up in the moment.
Journaling encourages mindfulness through the act of putting your thoughts on paper. You take them out of the ether of your mind and into a concrete form where you control more of their power. Emotions and ideas create an intricate bond, and removing your feelings from the accompanying ideas helps you gain a better perspective.
2. It Strengthens Your Attention Span
How long can you pay attention to a given task? In today’s world of instant gratification, you might be one of many who struggle to apply regular, concerted effort to any endeavor that doesn’t come with a speedy payoff. However, living moment by moment leaves you with a constantly shifting and uncertain future — it pays to apply yourself.
Journaling helps you strengthen your attention span. Even if you commit to writing only five minutes per day, you’ve done more than most. Before you know it, that attitude of perseverance starts to spill over into other aspects of your life.
3. It Helps Reframe Negative Thought Patterns
Is it true that a single missed zero on a budget report means you’ll be fired — worse, rightfully so, as you’re woefully inadequate at your position? Nonsense. If you look at the situation objectively, you’ll see everyone makes mistakes. What matters most is how you approach correcting them.
Journaling puts your negative thoughts in black and white for you to examine more closely. You can then reframe them when you feel more positive, penning affirmations you can turn to the next time you catch yourself thinking, “I’m such a failure.”
4. It Can Improve Your Mood
The next time you feel blue, why don’t you try putting pen to paper? One therapeutic exercise entails merely writing out what makes you feel sad. Expressing your emotions is a powerful way of processing them and letting them go.
You could also brainstorm ideas to cheer you up. Why not write a list of things you can do when depression strikes that don’t require too much energy but nevertheless cheer you? Perhaps you have a friend you can text when you need support or listen to an upbeat tune that never fails to make your feet dance.
5. It Can Ease Anxiety
Much human anxiety stems from not knowing why you feel uneasy in the first place. The unknown is the greatest terror of them all. Journaling allows you to make logical predictions about situations and their likely outcomes to ease your angst.
Writing down your thoughts also helps you clarify your path forward. For example, you might not know the best way to approach your loved one about something bothering you in your relationship. Journaling about how the conversation might go with various approaches can help you pick the perfect opening line for your talk.
6. It Improves Your Communication Skills
One of the biggest soft skills employers seek is communication, and journaling helps you hone your tone. You can play with different ways to phrase the same sentence. Which sounds more positive? What approach is the other person in the conversation most likely to find agreeable?
You can even use journaling to practice new languages. Why not try writing an entry or two in your non-native tongue and seeing how you do? After all, there’s no teacher to give you a bad grade — although you might want to have a fluent friend review your work.
7. It Clarifies Your Purpose in Life
The great German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche writes, “he who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning besides a desire to pay the bills. What’s yours?
Journaling can help you discover the answer. Do you find yourself returning to recurring themes? Maybe your pages overflow with talk of various plants. Is it time to investigate a landscaping or herbalist career? Let your pen help you decide.
Let These 7 Benefits of Journaling Inspire Your Practice
Journaling is a fabulous tool for improving your mental wellness and improving your life. Let these seven benefits inspire you to get started putting pen to paper today.