journal writing

Journal Writing

Journal writing is an excellent personal development tool.

Some people think that journaling is the same as keeping a diary but they are a bit different.

A diary is meant to be a chronicling of the days events, sometimes with a few comments about your thoughts and feeling about those events.

Journaling is meant to be deeper.

Writing a journal involves examining your feelings at a deeper level with the intent of growing, feeling more positive about your life and possibly making changes in your life.

The Benefits Of Journaling

There are many benefits to keeping a journal.

  • You definitely learn more about yourself. If you write in your journal consistently and are open and honest with yourself about how you feel, you will see patterns emerge. Your patterns are expressions of your core beliefs, those basic beliefs you have about yourself, other people and the world.

  • Journal writing is very helpful for self healing and personal growth. In learning your core beliefs, you are in a better position to see if those beliefs are working for you or not. If not, you can work on ways to change them.

  • In keeping a reflective journal you get insights into who you really are. It is a wonderful way to see if you are on the right path for yourself, in terms of career, relationships and on your spiritual journey.

  • Seeing your patterns and core beliefs emerge can help you gain confidence in your ability to handle situations as they come up in your life. If you are being completely honest in your writing you begin to know who you really are - the inner you that may have needed a little help to shine through.

  • Writing and reviewing your journal writing help clarify situations or events in your life - particularly if they are complex or evoke a lot of emotion in you. Once you are able to stand back and see it more clearly, preferred ways of handling the situation can emerge.

  • An extension of the point above is that journaling can help you to make big life changes or big decisions. Although not usually a quick decision making tool, continuous writing in a personal journal can help bring you to the point that you not only identify actions that need to be taken in your life, but you have the courage to take those actions.

  • Your journal is a great place to make plans and set goals for yourself. You may be surprised at the new ideas that emerge.

How To Keep A Journal

The first thing to do is to select something to write in. Choose a notebook or journal book that you keep only for journaling, not one you use for anything else.

If possible, treat yourself to a really beautiful journal. This is a wonderful journey of discovery and change you are embarking on. Honor that with a book to write in that pleases you when you look at it, and a nice pen. They don't have to be expensive, just something that makes you feel good.

Make a real effort to set aside time to write every day, or at least several times a week. Writing at the same time every day sets a positive pattern for your journal writing, but do what you can.

Write in private. This is your personal journey and you will not feel free to express your true feelings if others are around, so write in private and keep your journal tucked away when you are not writing in it. This is for your eyes only right now so take steps to ensure your privacy.

Commit to being really honest in your journal writing. That is the only way you will really grow from this experience.

Periodically review what you have been writing. After a month or two you will have more distance from situations that may be highly emotional and you may be able to see things more clearly.

You may discover that sometimes you are not happy with some of the patterns and behaviors you are seeing in yourself. Look at those behaviors honestly and forgive yourself for whatever negative patterns and behaviors you see in yourself through this process. We are all on a path of personal growth and none of us is perfect. Learning to love yourself through the process is most of what it is all about.

Commit to keeping a journal for at least 6 months. Then review where you are compared with where you started to see if you want to continue. If you decide to stop for a while you can always pick it up again at another point in your life, or you may decide that the changes you see in yourself are well worth the effort of continuing.

Journal writing is just one tool in self healing. Read more here.

It's all part of the mind body connection.

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