Anne Frank once said, “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” During an incredibly difficult time in her life and within the world, Anne Frank turned to journaling to channel her thoughts and process through her surroundings. As she wrote, her circumstances didn’t change, but her view on life certainly did.
Needless to say, journaling can have a profound impact on our lives. The simple act of slowing down, taking pen to paper and using valuable time to write can benefit our mental, emotional and even spiritual well-being. If you strive for overall health and well-being, journaling might be the next step to consider. Take a look at simple ways journaling can improve your life.
Reflect on life
In today’s busy world, life moves pretty quickly, and we often take little time to actually sit back and consider how things have changed. Before long, we feel overwhelmed because we didn’t take the time to process as things moved. However, journaling forces you to slow down and truly reflect on life — what happened the last few days that you want to think about? How are things going? This time spent working through your thoughts can significantly strengthen your emotional and mental health.
As you reflect on life in your journal, you have a chance to process the emotions you felt. Emotions are incredibly powerful and subjective. They can cause us to make wonderful decisions, or terrible ones. While emotions are very valuable, they should also be handled with caution. Journaling gives you time to consider your emotions from more of a “third party” perspective. Rather than feeling everything in a single moment, you can walk through them, find the source and decide where to go from there.
Explore new ideas
As you journal, you also have the chance to explore new thoughts and ideas that pop into your head. For instance, have you ever had an idea, then thought, “Wow, I should write that down so I don’t forget.” Well, you can with a journal! Sit for awhile and allow thoughts to come to you as you explore new ideas or problem solve concerns in your personal life or at work. When it comes to journaling, the world is your oyster.
Consider other perspectives
The act of slowing down and dealing with your emotions, thoughts and perceptions can actually encourage you to consider other perspectives, as well. For instance, if you and your family member have an argument, journaling about it could actually give you the chance to think what their side might be. Some journaling activities even have entire prompts focused on writing from another person’s perspective, which forces you to step out of your comfort zone and look at the world from an entirely new angle.
Finally, as you journal over time, you have the opportunity to establish long-term goals, track them and then see how you accomplish them. Goal-setting is a great way to identify your dreams in life and then work toward achieving them. Very few goals are accomplished if you don’t write them down. By journaling, you can dream as big as you want to, then track what your goals are and how you hope to get there. Over time, you can look back on past journals and see what goals you have accomplished.
Like Anne Frank said, writing can erase your sorrows and inspire your courage. If you want to improve your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, consider taking up journaling. You might be surprised at how much your life can grow simply by writing.