Have you discovered the surprising benefits of journaling?
For some, journaling conjures up visions of drudgery and memories of boring academic exercises. Others, who prefer greater structure, sometimes struggle with the ambiguous nature of journaling.
However, journaling can be a great tool to assist with problem solving, personal insight, personal mastery, and spiritual growth; all important aspects of emotional intelligence development!
Here’s how journaling helps me in four areas.
I am a visual person. Writing out problems that have me stumped or upset can allow me to diagram them as I did recently. I drew two options for a major decision as a fork in the road with the pros and cons of each on other side. Though I already knew all of the factors listed, somehow drawing them out as two sides of a direction assisted me in seeing the way forward more clearly. It clarified my decision making process.
Personal Insight and Personal Mastery
More often than diagramming, I write when experiencing negative emotions. It helps me sort out what I am feeling and gain insight into what the feeling is about. Merely expressing emotions on paper relieves stress for me. The whole process helps me to let go of the negative feeling and create a more positive and realistic outlook. This process has helped me not only get through but grow through some really tough times.
Writing out difficult interactions with others helps me to more objectively analyze the situation. I find that I am able to analyze an interaction from various vantage points and gain more insight about what may be going on with others as well as possible interventions.
Occasionally, I like to write out prayers. When God seems to show me something or speaks to me in a clear way, I have a special book in which I write those things. Even years later, I feel inspired and encouraged when re-reading them!
My journaling is sporadic and that’s ok. I use journaling off and on to help me problem solve, gain insight, adjust my mindset and my emotions, as well as commune with God.
Journaling may not work for everyone, but I would encourage you to consider whether it could be a tool to assist you in problems you are facing or an opportunity to help you grow towards your goals.
If journaling has been a helpful tool for me or you have more to add to this discussion, please comment. Your feedback may be encouraging and helpful for other readers as well.