There are uncountable benefits to keeping a journal but if I tell you my top 5 self-improvement reasons, you might start doing it immediately. There is not a single person on this planet who can claim to have a quiet mind. Almost every person is thinking about something of the past or is anxious about what the future holds. And when I hear people say things like they are too sensitive and can’t get their minds to sleep at night. Trust me it is not a personality or a zodiac thing. We all deal with sticky thoughts and emotions on a daily basis. Some people are just emotionally resilient and better at hiding their feelings. But that does not mean that thoughts and feelings do not disturb them.
1. Clarity of Mind
Keeping a journal means to write down your story, thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper. Because paper is not judging you and it gives you the freedom to write whatever you want. If you feel you can’t process certain negative thoughts and they are killing your peace of mind then please write down everything from the start to finish. Once you do that, re-read your words and you will realize a myriad of concerns in your writing:
- You may have assumed a lot of stuff
- You may have overreacted
- You may have got a lot of pent-up emotions that need to deal with
- It’s not about how others are treating you, it’s about how you are treating yourself
- Whatever it is that you are judging in other human beings exists in you. Our life shows you what you want to see.
So you see that writing the negative thoughts like anger, jealousy, sadness, disappointment is an act of acceptance and coming face to face with your own issues. Writing is self-directed. It makes you a better person and also more emotionally stable. You will react at certain things once, twice maybe thrice but not more than that because you are constantly writing and processing those emotions. Your emotions need acceptance without judgement. Once that happens, you will find a way to direct them positively without reacting or having useless arguments with people around you.
Isn’t it the ultimate truth that when you say Alhamdulillah for things you are grateful for, those things start to increase abundantly in your life out of nowhere. Even when I appreciate having a good conversation with someone I care for, my relationship with that person starts to improve drastically. If you start to keep a gratitude journal on a daily basis, your life will start to improve in all areas of your life. And you will become a genuinely happy person. I have always felt that when I write down things I am grateful for, they somehow become easy for me. Like I don’t even have to try in getting more of those things. There are two quotes by Rumi that I love more than anything
1). If you only say one prayer in a day, make it Thank You.
2). Gratitude is wine for the soul, go on get drunk.
Have you ever noticed that women who keep a recipe diary are much more creative than who don’t? And no I am not saying that women who don’t keep a diary can’t cook. They can cook but a woman who writes down recipes has a never-ending flow of creativity at her hands. I know this because my mom and sis keep recipe diaries and they are not only great cooks but resourceful as well. The point I am trying to make is that writing makes you know about your likes/dislikes. It shuns the need to depend on the opinions of others. When you are alone writing down your thoughts and ideas, creativity sparks up because it’s your intuition which is being exercised. Intuition is always your best guide and it becomes stronger when you make it a habit to sit by yourself and write down things that come in your mind. It’s also a way to quiet down your mind. You get an idea and when you start to write it down, you analyze its feasibility. Only when you pen down the stuff in your mind, you’ll start to process and solve the whole puzzle.
4. Vision for Life
Writing down your goals and vision for life not only makes you accountable but enables you to break them into monthly, weekly and daily small tasks. I write my to-do list every single day and every single day, that list gets completed and checked off. So don’t be scared to write down whatever you want out of your life. Your desires will eventually turn into goals and become a reality. Even if the reality seems far-fetched, write it down and become better at writing on how you can achieve that reality.
5. Emotional Resilience and Forgiveness
Writing down your thoughts and emotions will naturally make you emotionally stable person. For me, emotional resilience and stability mean the ability to deal with your emotions on your own. You also become more aware and in the process, you start forgiving people. Forgiveness gives you freedom.
Here are some Journaling Prompts for getting more self-awareness. Write down the answer to whatever questions you like in your personal diary or notepad.
- What does my ideal day look like from the morning to night?
- What do I need more of in my life?
- What do I need to let go of?
- What scares me the most? and why? What can I do to overcome this fear?
- What made me joyful this week?
- What distractions have been hindering my productivity? How can I get rid of those distractions?
- What’s the one thing you want to change about your routine in order to get closer to your ideal day? goals?
- What would I do If money was not the object?
- When do I feel most successful?
- When do I feel most in tune with myself?
- What can I do to improve upon my self-care practices?
- Does my circle of friends positively or negatively impacts my life vision? it could be related to health, money and overall well-being
- What do I love most about myself?
- Three Things I am most grateful for today?
- Someone, I need to forgive today is?
- How can I be more kind and supportive with myself?
- How can I support others?
- What can I do to nurture my mind, body and soul? More Me Time?
- What are my three biggest strengths?
- What are my three biggest weaknesses?
- What do I want my legacy to be?