Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a writer, keeping a journal is an excellent way to get in touch with yourself. Think of it as free therapy. All you need is a place to write—perhaps a physical paper journal, a document on your computer or even the notes app on your smartphone—and some time that you can regularly dedicate to jotting your thoughts down.
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Journaling isn’t just about pouring out your feelings and leaving it at that, however. The practice can also create positive changes in your mental health—and in your life. Here are four key reasons why journaling helps you change and grow for the better.
1. Journaling Gives You a Safe Space
Some things are better left unsaid. In fact, most of the things that pop into our heads are better left unsaid. If you’re the type who tends to speak before you think, journaling can help. Use your journal to vent. Write down all the things you’d like to say to a particular person (or yourself) without filtering or censoring your thoughts. Once you put these words on paper, they tend to lose their meaning and their importance. You won’t feel like you’re on the verge of actually saying them anymore and that in itself can certainly do a lot to relieve any stress and tension that’s currently happening in your relationships.
2. Journaling Helps You Work Through Issues From Your Past
We all have baggage. Journaling can help you process and overcome your past by giving you an outlet to contemplate, understand and analyze situations that still haunt you. Whether you’re working through a particularly rough breakup, a strained relationship with a family member or an inner demon that won’t let up, writing down your thoughts, or even directing your entries toward the person as if they are the one you’re writing to can be both freeing and transformative.
3. Journaling Helps You Manifest What You Want Out of Life
If you can dream it, you can do it. Use your journal to write about your hopes, expectations and wants. The more you focus on whatever it is you want to manifest in your life, the closer you will also be to accomplishing it. Your journal will give you the space to envision a plan of action, work through obstacles that might be standing in your way, and anticipate some of the things you might need to work on before your ideal life can come to fruition.
4. Journaling Helps You Find Your Gratitude
Being thankful for what you have in life will inevitably make you appreciate your loved ones, yourself and your current situation more than you already do. Therefore, you should use your journal to ruminate on all the wonderful aspects of your existence and allow yourself to really focus on how rich your life truly is right now. The more grateful you are, the happier you’ll certainly become. This newfound sense of joy will permeate every part of your daily life, enriching your outlook and those of the people around you.
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