Journaling can be a very powerful tool for personal development. The power of writing can force your thoughts into written content. This forces you to even go deeper into your thoughts and feelings. Many of us keep notes in our mind of what we are working through at the moment – but writing it down makes it much easier to think through complex issues. It may seem simple, but it can make a big difference in your life.
The most important way to succeed in journaling is to be totally honest with yourself when reflecting. If you are truthful with yourself you will learn to become more self-aware.
What are some of the benefits of journaling?
1. It helps you to express your thoughts. The way you mull things over in your head will look a lot different on paper.
2. It helps prevent you from losing an idea. You may think of something that you know is important and don’t want to forget – jot it down in your journal and go back and reflect when you have time.
3. It helps you expand on your ideas: You might be very surprised with what you write.
4. It trains you be an objective observer of yourself. You will start to get into the habit of observing all experiences…more in tune with what is going on around you and inside of you – both emotionally and physically.
5. You will start to see patterns over time. After journaling for a while – you cannot help but see your patterns of relating with others and yourself. Self-awareness is the ultimate goal! You cannot change yourself unless you first see the patterns.
6. It gives you structure to your therapy.
7. It holds you responsible for your work. You can review it yourself and/or with your therapist.
With the advent of the computer – no longer do we need to carry our journals around – although for some that is still enjoyable. The key is to make it easy – if it becomes a chore then you won’t do it. So, before you start, take time to think through what the best format would be for you!