Every day comes with a promise of change but it takes a lot of effort to make change happen. Unfortunately, not everyone can embrace this notion with ease, whether it is muddling through a bad time, taking on a new diet or simply looking to find some clarity in life. There are people who wait longer than they should to start over, start something new or even get past a bad phase only due to lack of perspective.
But sometimes the solution is too simple to believe. In this case, it is writing. Yes, writing in a journal or journaling can solve a lot of your problems and can provide you with clarity. Finding it hard to believe? Read on to learn how.
The Art Of Journaling
Journaling is a literary tool that you can use to empower yourself to take on challenges and see through big changes in life. It is a simple concept but it takes practice. It is not a ‘dear diary’ way of writing for keeping an account of your daily life. It is a way of expressing your emotions tangibly through your writing.
It is about you finding who you are, how you think, what you think, and the way you process events, emotions, and relationships. It will help you get more clarity about your thoughts and the circumstances you are in. And hopefully, it will help you to find a way forward.
The beauty of journaling is that it is not age, issue, or language bound. So, you can write however you want and in whichever language you feel comfortable writing in.
Things To Do Before Journaling
If you are thinking about how to do this, then think no more and start with the basics. Here are a few things to do before you start on your journey of journaling.
1. Find a great notebook: The first step is to zero in on a journal that you absolutely love and want to write in. You can opt for a journal which is beautifully bound or one that is made up of handmade paper. The choice is yours.
2. Find a wonderful pen: It might seem frivolous but this will help you with your motivation to write. A nice pen and its touch on paper will motivate you to write in the beginning. So, opt for a beautiful ink pen which comes with hassle-free refills or you can even go for ball pens for comfort.
3. Find your spot: Find a secluded corner somewhere in your house or somewhere you love visiting often. This spot can be anywhere and anything, from your bed to a park bench. This is only a setup to help you with the process in the beginning till you make it a habit.
4. Let it free flow: There is no hardbound rule to writing in a journal. It is all about what you feel and how you feel. Let your feelings be the driving factor when you are writing. And don’t be discouraged to write even if you are struggling with the language. This is not about you being able to write well. It is about you being able to express your deepest and darkest emotions tangibly through your writing.
The Benefits Of Journaling
1. The Incredible Mental And Physical Benefits
The benefits of journaling practice are multidimensional. A study has found out that journaling can have a positive effect on people and can help them through their tough times by aiding them to process their thoughts better. Researchers also found out that people who wrote about their tough times were even capable of seeing the positive sides of such times.1
In another groundbreaking research, a few scientists carried out a study with HIV infected patients. These scientists recorded a significant improvement in their immune levels after they started journaling. Writing intervention really helped these patients to find clarity and immunity during their turbulent times.2 Here are a few other important benefits of journaling:3
- Eases anxiety
- Helps to cope with stress
- Helps managing depression
2. Eye Of The Tiger
Life and its problems can burden you and make you lose your focus sometimes. You can’t rely on others to keep you on track all the time. This is the reason why journaling can be a great way to remain focused consistently. It can allow you to have things in perspective constantly.
Journaling about your life goals can push you to stay motivated. And a study suggests that it has health benefits too.4 Thus, you can use your writing to keep yourself motivated about your goals and aspirations.
3. The Art Of Solitude
Journaling can empower you to embrace solitude as it is a one-man job. Solitude is not just for social outcasts and recluses. It is important for everyone, especially now as you are constantly surrounded by the buzz of social media and facade of virtual perfection. Solitude helps you to find a connection back to yourself. It can also allow you to reflect on your thoughts and contemplate over things that you want to do.
4. Honing Of Skills
If you are a budding or aspiring writer, then journaling is the best way to practice the art of writing and hone your skills as a writer. You can use this as your opportunity to learn to be eloquent and expressive through your writing.
You can’t do anything about the external chaos. But you can keep your internal chaos in order through journaling. Deal better with your fears, aspirations, goals, and pain by expressing them through writing.
|↑1||Ullrich, Philip M., and Susan K. Lutgendorf. “Journaling about stressful events: Effects of cognitive processing and emotional expression.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 24, no. 3 (2002): 244-250.|
|↑2||Petrie, Keith J., Iris Fontanilla, Mark G. Thomas, Roger J. Booth, and James W. Pennebaker. “Effect of written emotional expression on immune function in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection: a randomized trial.” Psychosomatic Medicine 66, no. 2 (2004): 272-275.|
|↑3||Journaling for Mental Health. University of Rochester Medical Center.|
|↑4||King, Laura A. “The health benefits of writing about life goals.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 27, no. 7 (2001): 798-807.|