The benefits of journaling

by Personal Development

How many books do you need to read to achieve your dream life? Would you need two or three to get your life organized, a couple more to get that fit body, another stack for building your career, 5 more for your perfect relationship, another 10 or 20?

What if there was a single book that held all the answers you needed to achieve that dream life?

I have fantastic news. This book exists, but you can’t buy it in your local bookstore or an online one and even Amazon would not be able to deliver it to you. For you to get that one book, you have to write it yourself. Imagine putting all your dreams inside this book, your dream car, a fit and healthy body, and all the exotic destinations you’ve always wanted to cross off your bucket list. This is the power of Journaling.

Ever since I got interested in self-development some 10 years ago I’ve heard people talk about the benefits of journaling every day. They claimed it helped them improve clarity and focus. That it’s helped them keep track of their goals and get all of their thoughts down onto the page for action.

I had done a bit of journaling in my life but I was never able to sustain it for a few consecutive days. I was pleased a month ago when I got the challenge to try journaling my emotions for two straight weeks. As I rose to the task, I asked myself why not try it out for 30 days instead and see if I could get those benefits as well. I committed to writing for 10 minutes a day to track my overall state of mind and hopefully understand my life better.

A few days after I began this experiment, I found that my memories began to emerge with unexpected clarity. I could picture places I had not thought about for years, and as I began to see the pictures in my mind, I also began to remember people and activities. One morning, as I was journaling, I could vividly remember the details of my dream as if I was watching a movie in 3D. This was amazing.

A week into the challenge however, I got a taste of some sour medicine. I faced some of the worst anxiety I’ve had in my life. It caught me off guard. It was like nothing I’d experienced before.  It was likely caused by a combination of factors: the pressure I had put on myself to find new clients for my business, looking for an office in a better location and finally wondering if my life was headed in the direction I wanted it to.

Writing this down helped to arrest my anxiety.  It didn’t make everything better but it helped me to accept how I was feeling. It stopped me from running away from the thoughts I was having or pretending like they didn’t exist.

Journaling exposed to me my feelings and created a space to analyze them. I was also able to clearly see the effect of other people’s words and actions on me. I could also put myself in other’s shoes and see the impact my words and action had on them as well. It made it easier to build and maintain deeper connections with others.

Most importantly, I learned the value of using my actions deliberately to influence my thoughts and state of mind. I learned that I am weak when i permit my thoughts to control my actions; real strength is in forcing my actions to control my thoughts.

From today if you wish to master this recipe for your dream life, when you awake, draw up a plan by journaling before you are captured by the forces of sadness, self-pity and failure – If you feel depressed, sing. If you feel sad, laugh. If you feel ill, double your efforts. If you feel fear, plunge ahead. If you feel inferior, wear new garments. If you feel uncertain, raise your voice. If you feel poor, think of the wealth to come. If you feel incompetent, remember past success. If you feel insignificant, remember your goals and build the life you desire.