There’s a long list of ways to go about knowing yourself, but journaling just might be at the top.
Few people take advantage of the clarity that journaling can bring. It helps you cope with stress and anxiety. It’s also a beautiful way to record the life-changing moments you experience and messages you learn along the way.
Journaling offers an opportunity to track your personal growth and when you find yourself stuck or in need of redirection, you can read through old entries to become an observer of your life and course correct.
I like to start every new year with a new journal but you can start whenever you are ready. Writing the first words on a fresh sheet of paper feels like a new beginning at any time.
Step one is finding a notebook that you like.
My personal preference is a single subject spiral notebook (like the ones you probably used in high school). They’re not too fancy and take all the pressure away from being too precious. But depending on your taste and interest there are a variety of options.
In this article, I’ll share with you three reasons to journal.
01. Journaling helps you clarify your feelings
Think of your journal as a paper (or electronic) therapist. When you’re in a bit of a funk and not sure how to move forward, sometimes writing it all down will clear mental space.
Translating your emotions into written word helps you process and take action. But more than that, it builds the ritual of reflection and healing. This ultimately leads to increased self-awareness.
02. Journaling amplifies your creativity
The best way to become a good writer is to do it regularly. Journaling gives you a safe space to learn how to express yourself creatively. It unleashes your imagination and helps you tap into new ideas.
Your journal can be a space to brainstorm new concepts or an opportunity to reflect on your creative influences.
You can write lists or capture mantras and quotes from your biggest influences. The combination of these elements helps you refine your taste and establish your creative point of view.
03. Journaling helps you document your place in history
One of the most magical parts of keeping a journal for many years is to look back and see who you were. Journaling helps you see your patterns–both over the course of many years and seasonally.
It also serves as a great way to document the meaningful accomplishments that you might normally forget. Beyond that, journaling cultivates gratitude and helps you notice the small victories of daily life.