Do you remember the days when you had a secret diary, where you shared all the highs and lows of your childhood? Well, journaling isn’t just for children!
It has been around for as long as there has been the written word. Longer if you include cave paintings as a form of journaling! Journaling is more often related to the practice of recording the day’s events. All the great explorers and leaders in history kept journals.
Journaling is good for more than record keeping though. Whether it is a daily journal, a creativity journal, or a gratitude journal; if you are not journaling in some form, you are missing out! Journaling can help you with mental clarity, assist you in problem solving effectively, can help you with goal setting, and can be the vehicle that connects you to your inner / higher self.
(Journals don’t have to be boring! I just purchased these two.)
How does it work? Well, writing encourages us to be in the present moment, removes mental blocks, and quiets the constant chatter. Similar to the benefits you receive from yoga or meditation. It is said that the act of writing activates the analytical left brain, allowing the right brain to be free to feel, intuit, and create. That is why you will often see creatives with a journal. Whether it is a songwriter’s journal for jotting down lyrical inspiration, the writer’s fleshing out a book outline, or the artist’s doodling and recording inspiration; creatives naturally understand the value of a journal.
Today, therapists are recommending journaling for therapeutic reasons. Research has confirmed that journaling has wide ranging emotional, mental, and even physical benefits. Whether you are suffering from a traumatic event, grief, loss, stress, or just everyday angst, journaling can help. Journaling has been known to improve your health, help you have a better night’s sleep, and journaling can even make you feel happier! Huh.
Some say that journaling even strengthens your immune system. I like that!
“But I am not a writer!” you say, or “I am feeling overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start.” or my personal favourite, “I don’t have time.” The simplest, easiest, and one of the most effective ways to start journaling is with a Gratitude journal.
The daily habit of recording what you are grateful for is healing on so many levels. I recommend it as a daily practice, whether it be first thing in the morning or the last thing you do at night. I personally like to journal while enjoying my morning coffee.
Let your writing free flow. Don’t concern yourself with how many gratitudes you record each day, or even what they are about. It is not a contest. You will not be judged. Start with just one gratitude. Just one.
Write down in your journal, ” I am grateful for . . .” The words I am are an important inclusion in your gratitude statements. I love how Dr. Wayne Dyer described their importance,
“The words I am are holy expressions for the name of God – the highest aspect of yourself. Always make your very first consideration the honoring of your Divine Spirit.”
Focus on what you are thinking and feeling in the moment. Write about people and things that you are grateful for in your life, rather than taking them for granted. Feel free to elaborate on why you are grateful.
One tip I read about, that resonated with me, and that I have begun to incorporate in to my daily routine, is to take a moment and savour every word in your gratitude. What a great word – savour! I have found that by doing this one thing, every gratitude I write now rings truer, I have a more emotional connection with it, and I feel a vibration run through me as I savour each gratitude.
How timely is this post?! Thanksgiving. I have so much to be grateful for.
Thank you. GOD bless.