Hello and welcome to Motivation and Mindset Mondays! Today, let’s talk about how journaling can benefit your self-development. Journaling is a fantastic way to supercharge your self-development efforts. When your thoughts are still in your mind, they can be challenging to analyze objectively.
Getting things out of your head and down on paper provides a totally different perspective.
Thinking tends to be very sequential; one thought leads to the next, which leads to the next. We get caught in a linear track and miss out on the bird’s-eye view of the whole thought process. With journaling you gain the ability to see things from a third-person view versus a first-person view.
Three Great Benefits of Journaling
1. Solve complex challenges. When you write the issue at hand down on paper, the solution for a complex challenge often suddenly becomes obvious. The ability to re-examine the issue from a third-person perspective can make all the difference.
2. Increase clarity. One of the best times to lean on your journal is when you’re filled with uncertainty about what action to take. Many things become clearer when you can get them down in writing.
3. Validate your progress. Sometimes we feel like we’re spinning our wheels and not making genuine progress. When you’re feeling this way, go back and review your old journal entries. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ve made since then. And you’ll also probably realize that you’re taking huge strides right now, too!
How to Start a Journal
You might envision creating a journal in one of those blank books you can pick up in the bookstore. While this option certainly has a romantic feel to it, you might want to consider keeping an electronic journal.
- Electronic journals can be essentially free; you could start a blog on a free website or simply use your word processing program.
- The big advantage with electronic journals is the ability to search for things. Imagine going back through 10 years of written records, trying to find a specific entry.
- Additionally, if you type faster than you write, an electronic journal can be beneficial when you’re trying to get complex thoughts out in a short period of time.
- Also, there are several software programs available specifically developed for journaling. If you can spare the $20-$30, they’re worth checking out, and provide a lot more flexibility than the traditional pen and paper approach.
Habit-forming: Make Journaling a Daily Activity
Even if you think that there aren’t enough interesting things happening in your life on a daily basis to bother recording them, don’t let that deter you. New habits are much easier to implement if the activity is performed on a daily basis. Even getting down a couple of sentences every night is a great idea. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll write much more.
This practice can even help make your life more exciting and fulfilling. Just knowing that you have to journal each night may compel you to make your life a little more adventurous, just so you have something interesting to write. Try it! During the day, you’ll notice that little thought in the back of your mind wondering what you can write about tonight.
Get started with your journal today. It’s an activity that has little to no cost but provides numerous benefits. You’ll see your clarity increase and have a much better sense of just how much progress you really are making in your life. Start journaling today and watch your self-development take on a new perspective.
I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your quest for a healthy mindset. Click the button below to receive your gift.
I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
If you are familiar with my approach, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Tools For Motivation And Mindset
Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point. You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
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