Around my birthday last year, I came across the article, How To Declutter Your Mind: 10 Practical Tips You’ll Actually Want To Try on Forbes.com. It mentioned how keeping a journal is a great way to relax your mind. The author explained how, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General writing could improve memory, help with anxiety, and cope with depression. I was sold. I told myself I would buy a notebook that weekend.
The very next day was my birthday dinner. I had invited a few of my friends and come to find out one of my friends gifted me two notebooks! (Look at God!) One was for poetry; it gave you poetry prompts. The other one was a regular notebook/journal small enough to carry in my purse. Now, that I’ve been using that notebook for literally everything, I don’t know how I survived life without it. LOL Here are the five ways journaling has helped me.
1. Organize My Life
In the journal, I write my ‘To Do’ lists, so I don’t forget any tasks to complete. I also write down my budget for the month. I’ve seen a difference in writing these things down, especially my ‘To Do’ lists because I don’t start a task and then halfway through it remember another task, stop and start that other task, leaving the last task half done. I can also focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking and not completing them at my best. When it comes to writing down my budget, it keeps me on track on how much money I am spending, I am going to spend, and I won’t spend unnecessarily.
2. Organize My Thoughts
Since I take my journal with me everywhere I go, when I have a random thought or the urge to write I do. This way, I can get my thoughts all out on paper and then organize them later. Writing down my thoughts has helped me with my memory; I am not as forgetful as I used to be. I’ve noticed that it has helped me stay organized, on track, and de-clutter my mind, like the article says. And whenever I get an idea for a poem, I have my journal ready to write.
3. Reach Goals
There is another article on Huffpost.com called The Power of Writing Down Your Goals and Dreams. It talks about how Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, studied the art and science of goal setting. She had gathered 267 people from all different professions and divided them into groups by those who wrote down their goals and those who didn’t. She found out that those who wrote down their goals on a regular achieved them at a significantly higher level, 42% more likely.
I write my goals, and every certain amount of time, I go back and check on my progress. Writing keeps me on track with what I need to do, or I can change my goals if need to be. Since starting this, I can say I’ve reached the majority of my goals and only have had to change a few.
4. Grow Closer to God
After about two months from receiving my journal, I started writing down my prayers in the morning before starting work. I absolutely love doing this! Gets my mind ready for the day while also giving me a sense of gratitude. I find that with writing down my prayers, I can get right to the point and not feel like I’m rambling on like I would if I were speaking them out. I still pray throughout the day and at night before bed, but there is something about writing them down in the morning that gives me complete satisfaction.
Since I write everything down, I can go back and reflect. I can see what goals I had, and if I reached them, look at my accomplishments, go through the journey it took me to get there, and evaluate how I was feeling. It’s important to reflect and take time to see what you’ve overcome, the obstacles you’ve faced, and see your growth. This also helps for memory because as time goes on and new memories are created, old memories tend to fade, but if you have certain things written down, it can be a beautiful reminder of all you’ve overcome.
Overall journaling has helped me in many areas of my life, and I wish I would have kept my old ‘dairies’ from when I was younger LOL to look back on, but I have my journal from now to reflect on when I’m older. I’m glad I came across the article last year, started journaling, and now I’m able to share how it has helped me. If you do start journaling or already do, I would love to hear how it has impacted or helped you.
With Love, Heidy
P.S. I’ve created a few journals – you can check them out here.
Is a personal development newsletter an interest of yours? With a little bit of poetry? A little of opinion pieces? And some faith-based encouragement? Sign up for my Substack newsletter, “Into My Thoughts.”
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