Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The Fantastic Benefits Of Journaling For Your Wellbeing

Journaling does more than just allow us to put down our thoughts. There are a whole array of benefits of journaling. For example, it enables us to express ourselves, unload and unleash our inner thoughts and even act as a form of therapy. You can use your journal as a place to unburden yourself in a space that is entirely free of judgment and societal restraints. Let's explore some of the other fantastic benefits of journaling for your wellbeing.
A lady writing in her journal in a post about the fantastic benefits of journaling for your wellbeing.


“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” — Hal Elrod

After a few failed starts, I started journaling a couple of years ago. Initially, I was reluctant about the idea of journaling as I thought it was a time-consuming activity that requires a regular commitment. How wrong was I! journaling is what you make it. I soon began to see some of the benefits of journaling. Since then, I am a complete convert.

I find journaling such an essential part of my wellbeing and mental health. Writing my thoughts down really helps with processing what I'm feeling. Often I don't realise what is causing me distress until I write it down.

Journaling now forms part of my daily routine, and I will basically free flow right for approximately 10 minutes per day, and I see it as part of my self-care routine.

The fantastic benefits of journaling for your wellbeing:

1. Clears your mind

One of the first benefits of journaling is that you can just take whatever is in your mind and "dump" it onto the paper.

Although I often do a separate brain dump as part of my reset day. Yet when life gets busy, it sometimes has been too long since my last reset day. My brain gets frazzled with all the thoughts, feelings and the things I need to remember.

You know that feeling?! Let's just clear all of the clutter out of our heads.

2. Helps you to identify your problems and fears

I always found it really difficult identifying my worries and concerns. I would feel overwhelmed, angry or scared, but I wouldn't always know about what.

Once you get the thoughts out of your head and look over them, you will soon start to notice what it is that is troubling you.

One of the benefits of journaling is that it can help you to prioritise your problems and fears, which significantly helps in managing anxiety and reducing stress.

More importantly, it will give you a chance to explore how you can deal with those thoughts. You can see what the triggers are and begin to tackle your problems as they arise and find a way to resolve them.

By viewing issues with more clarity, you will get a new perspective on things that are happening daily in your life.

If I feel anxious, I write down how I'm feeling. I then go back and try to work out why I am feeling that way and what I think I can do to try to change it. 

3. Great for self-confidence

Journaling about a positive experience allows your brain to relive it, and this reaffirms your abilities.

When the ugly head of self-doubt begins to rear its ugly head, go back and read about when you did do something successfully. Reliving the experience will help to release endorphins and dopamine, which will boost your self-esteem and mood.

These reflections could become a catalogue of your personal achievements that you continue to go back to.

4. You can identify patterns and habits 

Personally, one of the benefits of journaling I've noticed is that it has helped me to learn more about myself by seeing patterns and habits. It's easier to spot if a negative pattern of behaviour is emerging if you write it down.

Interesting, I've also noticed that when I get stress and start feeling anxious, I stop journaling. In December, I felt stressed and overwhelmed. I obviously knew the anxiety was because I had started a new business, but I couldn't pinpoint my feelings. It was only chatting to a friend, that I realised I hadn't journaled in months. I grabbed my journal and decided to set myself to a daily journaling challenge in January to allow me to get back into the habit.

Lady sat at desk writing in journal in a post about the fantastic benefits of journaling for your wellbeing.

5. It's basically a form of "free" therapy

Another one of the enormous benefits of journaling is that allows us to express ourselves, unload and unleash whatever thoughts you have.

Plus journaling is entirely free of judgment, thereby we can write about whatever we want to. You could always shred the paper or delete the document afterwards, and nobody need ever know what you wanted to get off your chest.

Whenever I need to get something off my chest, I open up my journal and just let the words flow out.

6. It's a time for self-reflection

The fact you have time to reflect upon your journal entries can be hugely beneficial mentally and spiritually. 

Self-reflection has helped me to understand more about the way that I respond to situations and not to be oblivious to my faults, this then allows me to find ways that I can try to deal with situations more positively. 

I will link my 31 daily journaling prompts for wellbeing and self-reflection if you would like to have a go.

7. Feel gratitude and positivity

Set aside a few minutes each day to write down what you are grateful for and what you have accomplished so far. 

Personally, I have a tendency to be too cynical about things, so in doing this, it makes me flip it and see the positives of life and what I am grateful for. I found it hard at first and repeated the same words about family, friends, etc., but it gets easier the longer you do it for.

If you tend to let self-doubt rule your head, your journal can be a place where you write down your positive affirmation. You can then retrain your brain on how you can view that negative situation or body image as a positive and recognise your own self-worth

Lady stood with arms out facing the sun in a post about the fantastic benefits of journaling for your wellbeing.

8. Increased productivity

Admittedly, when I initially started journaling, I started with a bullet journal. I spend too long drawing boxes and filling in the dates. I am a massive procrastinator, and it gave me too much of an excuse to not get on with the task in hand!

Once I did actually get started with daily journaling, I decided to switch from bullet journaling to a pre-made journaling notebook or a diary. Since then, my journal has been a lifesaver. My productivity has increased, I'm more organised, and I feel more in control of my life.

I combine daily journaling with the TeuxDeux lists app. Together they basically hold all of my thoughts and 'to-do's to prevent that constant brain fatigue you get when you try to remember everything. Instead, my brain can focus on getting what I need to do, done.

The minute I stop daily journaling, I start getting so stressed because I felt disorganised, and everything gets a bit out of control. I end up drowning in a mass of post-it notes because I'm so afraid of forgetting something important. 

9. Set goals to live life more intentionally

Journaling is a powerful way to get a birdseye view of our lives. You can see where you are now, but also where you want to be or how you want to live your life.

It allows you to set your dreams and ambitions.

You can set yourself goals, whether it be yearly, monthly, or daily. I put a little box next to the goal. It is so satisfying to tick it off. The more you tick off, the more you think what else I can strive to achieve?

10. Document your life

One of the final benefits of journaling is that you can use it to look back on what happened and when. The things you write become precious memories as you go through life. Re-visiting and reading back over older entries can help stimulate happy feelings, but also remind us of valuable lessons learnt and experiences.

I combine daily journaling with the use of the 1-Second Everyday app, which then connects the written memory with also the visual memory. The 1.5-second video per day is usually a highlight or something that makes me smile, whereas my journal will be a perhaps more in-depth exploration of what happened that day.


Have you tried journaling? 

If so, how does it help you?

Lots of love, 
Helen x

Pinterest pin for a post about the fantastic benefits of journaling for your wellbeing.



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12 comments

  1. I haven't wrote in a journal for quite a few years now but this is a great post. I do try and think about all the positive things that have happened each day though, even the small stuff.

    Lauren | https://www.laurenyloves.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you so much! It's amazing the difference feeling gratitude can make towards your overall wellbeing isn't it! x

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  2. I have always loved journalling, it's such a great way to work through your emotions. I've been doing it since I was a teenager - I'm not very good at talking to people about how I feel and while that's still something I need to work on, journalling has been a great outlet for me!

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    1. I'm exactly the same about not being able to talk to people about how I feel! x

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  3. You make some great points. I have tried journalling many times but never stuck to it for some reason. I think I just need to schedule some time into my day where I will let myself sit down with my journal and write if I feel like writing (with no pressure). I'd like to get started again, there are just so many benefits (some of which I hadn't even considered)!

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    1. Yes, that's a great idea and once you can get it to be a habit, hopefully you'll love the benefits! x

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  4. Brilliant post. I whole heatedly agree. Journaling is hugely beneficial. I do journal prompt posts on my blog regularly and they are very popular.

    Claire x
    www.ourfavouritejar.com

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    1. Thank you! Ooh I will have to have a look x

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  5. I love this, thank you! Since this whole lockdown started, I have started gratitude journalling. Each morning when I sit down to drink my coffee, I write down 3 things that I am grateful for, from the day before. I like to do it I. The morning because I feel like it gets my day off to a good start. I haven't been a big fan of long form journalling in the past though. However, I do like the idea of a little more direction like the prompts give. I checked out your list of prompts and might just give those a try. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much Clarissa! Writing what you're grateful for in the morning is such a great idea. It must really get your day off to a lovely start x

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  6. Love all the benefits journalling has, I might have to jump onto it with your journalling challenge as I wouldn't know where to begin. I'm already excited to start. Have a fabulous June beauty.

    Tx. // Tajinder Kaur

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    1. Aww thank you so much! Please let me know how you get on if you do the challenge :) x

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