5 Benefits of a Daily Journaling Habit
People have been using journals for centuries. Reading historical journals or keeping your journal may even have been part of your education. Journaling has undoubtedly made its mark on human history. However, only in relatively recent years have professionals studied the benefits of journaling on the human mind.
Here are a few of the benefits that journaling can offer you:
When you commit to journaling daily and stick to it day in and day out, you build more than just a journaling habit. You develop your self-discipline. Self-discipline is the ability to keep propelling yourself in the direction you want to go despite distractions, challenges, or situations that may arise. While self-discipline helps keep a habit such as journaling, it can do much more for you in your professional and personal life. So don’t take creating self-discipline for granted. With the ability to do what you set out to do no matter what comes your way, there's no telling what you'll be able to achieve.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
The potential to reduce stress and anxiety is the primary reason most people who journal decide to pick up the habit. And for good reasons, mental health professionals often recommend journaling to their clients. Writing about what you feel and what happened during the day can help you process it more fully. Sometimes feelings can be muddled, and you may not even know what you're feeling. You can even try something called gratitude journaling, which helps change your mindset toward being grateful for what happens in your life. If you commit to finding at least one thing a day that you're thankful for and write about it, you will go through life with a much more positive mindset.
The Ability To Learn From Experience
When you process what happened throughout the day through your journaling habit, you'll be able to look back on it and learn from it. You can learn from your interactions with others and change how you respond next time. You might look back on your day and understand why you felt the way that you did and how you might navigate your feelings in the future. If you keep up the habit for long enough, it can be advantageous to look back months or even years in the past. Sometimes seeing how far you've come puts things into perspective.
Believe it or not, daily journaling can also help improve your sleep quality. Usually, when you're trying to sleep but sleep doesn't seem like it will come for you, it's because there is a lot on your mind. You might feel stressed about things that have happened, about things that may occur, or about your to-do list for the next day. When you take the time to journal before bed, you write the day's cares away and put them to rest for a while.
Some people find that writing linear thoughts about their stressors is helpful for them, and others prefer to create bullet journals to see how to tackle the tasks that lie ahead more visually. You might want to try both to see what works for you. No matter how you prefer to journal, it comes down to the same thing. When you're able to put your thoughts to rest, then you'll better be able to relax your body.
Mindfulness is almost a buzzword nowadays, but mindfulness is significant for mental health and mental clarity. Mindfulness is the ability to focus on the present and not become overly reactive to stimuli or thoughts of the past or future. Mindfulness lies in being aware. Everyone has a measure of mindfulness. It's part of human nature. However, distractions can quickly get in the way, and people may find themselves losing their ability to be mindful or fully present.
Some people find themselves so distracted with work that they end up being absentminded and stressed when spending time with friends and family, or some people spend so much time on a vacation focused on what's happening next rather than enjoying the moment. So it’s easy to see how not practicing mindfulness can lead to unfortunate consequences.
If you practice mindfulness every day via a daily journaling habit, you'll be one step ahead. You don't have to get too introspective to see the benefits of increased mindfulness. Writing about feelings, surroundings, and actions without judgment can help you be more present in your daily life. As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to having a daily journaling habit. It doesn't take much time either. Even setting aside a few minutes in the morning or before bed to write out your thoughts can help you gain mindfulness, relieve stress, and so much more.
Of course, you don't have to journal every day to see these benefits, and it's okay to miss a day here and there. What's most important is the routine and the habits you have, not an off day. Whether you're journaling to create an attitude of gratitude, want to relieve some of the stress of the day, or want to delve deep into your feelings, the most important thing is showing up for yourself and getting words on the page.
Author: Jade Augustine