From June 2014-June 2015 I wrote 13 blog posts.
From June 2015-June 2016 I wrote 45 blog posts.
Based on those numbers, it’s no coincidence that I’ve experienced so much personal growth and self discovery in the past year. I can credit so much of that to my blogging/journaling on a regular basis. My blog is like a slightly more polished journal that I just happen to post on my website for the public. By sharing the insights gained from my own personal experiences I hope to help, encourage, or inspire others.
Here are 4 reasons why journaling can help you live a healthier life. Remember, when I talk about “health” I’m talking mental, emotional, and physical.
1. It Slows You Down.
Take a deep breath. Notice how you inhale, followed a pause, then you exhale, followed my ANOTHER PAUSE. Journaling is like that final pause. It forces you to stop and actually process your feelings and your experiences. In the busyness of our day and age, this pause is invaluable.
I actually don’t like to journal with pen and paper. I enjoy typing. Probably because it’s faster! (There’s that “go go go!” world we live in) Don’t judge the mode in which you journal. Just do what you prefer. I carry around cute notebooks to jot down notes, ideas, and inspiration. This is what I refer to when I’m ready to write a journal entry/blog post. Carry something around with you to write things down in!! Anything you want to come back to later and give more thought to.
2. It Helps Us Make Connections.
When we take the time to self reflect, we are able to make connections. Like when I made the connection that I loved going on runs because it gave me the freedom to just step out the door without a plan and see where my body takes me, something that balanced out the constant planning and scheduling of my daily work life. I didn’t link the two together until I took the time to reflect on what it was about running that was making me feel balanced and happy.
Making these connections gives us a better understanding of ourselves which helps to reinforce positive behaviors. In the “28-Day Self Confidence Tool Kit” course that I’m developing, week one is all about getting to know yourself. Journaling is a huge part of this process as it helps you to explore observations you make about yourself and your experiences and then figure out what’s going on under the surface. For example “why do I always react that way in this sort of situation?” Or “why don’t I like that person?” Or “why am I feeling this way?” etc.
3. It’s a Form of Self Expression.
Self expression has many benefits such as improved mood, lower levels of stress and depressive symptoms, lower blood pressure, improved lung and liver function, and decreased emotional reactivity.
This decreased reactivity is the biggest change I’ve noticed in myself. It’s also an area I thought I’d never be able to get control of seeing as I’m highly sensitive and emotional. But you see, by journaling you work through your most raw emotions and go into the world better prepared to handle what comes your way. I’m literally amazed these days at how NON reactive I am to news or situations that would absolutely have sent me into a stressed out tailspin in the past. I’m not saying I’m perfect, I still slip up but these reactive moments are becoming fewer and farther between.
Think of all the negative behaviors humans engage in to release stress such as over eating, over drinking, and zoning out in front a the TV. I’ve found journaling to be just as effective of a stress release as exercise!! Instead of “numbing” yourself, you can use journaling to grow and improve yourself while relieving stress. This is huge.
4. It Can’t Be Undone.
Think about all the productive or healthy behaviors you do in a day. Working out, sleeping, dishes, picking up toys, walking the dog, etc. You do them but you must repeat them daily. They don’t last.
But with journaling…each time you do it you have made permanent and positive change. To your mindset, to your understanding of your experiences, to your knowledge of yourself. It feels good knowing that this progress can’t be undone when the sun sets and rises on a new day. You can continue to build on it.
I would encourage you to start a journal and see how it changes your life for the better!! Heck, start a blog and make your journaling public!! I’d read it!!! Either way, take the time for this wonderful act of self care and self discovery. It’s one of the first steps in learning to accept and love yourself which will build your self esteem.
You’re worth it.