I am obsessed with journaling. Straight up obsessed. I love beautiful notebooks, colorful pens, stickers and the feeling of the pencil gliding across the paper.
That’s why I started journaling in the first place, to be honest. I needed a reason to justify my obsession with buying beautiful office supplies.
But I quickly fell in love with the process of journaling.
It became my me time, my safe space.
I’d always been a writer, but I struggled with putting my thoughts down on paper in a personal style like journaling. But once I realized that I was able to take the chaos that I was drowning in inside of my brain and put it down on paper, it was like I found the secret that would absolutely change my life.
Below I share the top 3 ways that journaling can absolutely change your life for the better.
Make the chaos in your brain make sense
When it comes to abuse recovery, most mental health issues, actually, your brain is complete and utter chaos. It’s hard to even think straight. There are times where it seems like my brain is like the tornado that sent Dorothy to Oz.
That’s where the power of journaling comes in.
When you allow yourself to just dump it all out on paper, that chaos is no longer swirling around in your brain, it’s written down in a physical way so you can actually read each thought.
This seems a lot more overwhelming than it really is.
The magic happens when you just let yourself flow. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it isn’t going to be seen by anyone else. Just write.
Brain Dumping is my favorite thing to do when I’m feeling super overwhelmed. Between being a single mom, his activities, going to my side hustle, working my business, my own sad attempt at a social life, family stuff, blah blah blah, my brain finds it hard to focus.
So instead of trying to, I just begin to write it all out on paper.
Set the timer.
If I really don’t want to write, I’ll set the timer for 5 minutes and I have to keep going for the full five minutes. If I’m on a roll, I keep going (this is what usually happens). I don’t force myself to stick with any one topic, I just write about everything that’s stressing me out. One second I’ll be going on about work and then I’ll be talking about my son and then I’m writing about an idea I had for the ladies in my membership program.
When I’m done, it doesn’t flow very well and it definitely isn’t going to win me any awards.
But what it DOES do is give me a chance to see each thought individually. I can look down and see, physically written down, the chaos in my brain.
That’s when I can go through and pick out the ideas I had about my membership, I can create some affirmations around repetitive thoughts, and focus on the things that came up the most.
I used to think that I could figure everything out in my head. I was so, so wrong. Journaling is the reason I’m able to keep any sort of sanity at all with my life being so crazy.
Hits your brain in another way
Journaling is so freaking powerful because it connects with your brain on another level.
If you’ve listened to my podcast or follow me on social media you know just how obsessed I am with self talk.
I won’t get super into it here (check out this podcast episode to learn the science behind it), but it’s so fascinating how we can impact our brains with the things we say.
When we write things down, it has the same effect. In order to write down a thought, you have to think it. Your brain then has to tell your hand to write it. Once you physically write out each letter, your brain then reads it.
The coolest part is that you’re writing it yourself, so you’re teaching your brain that you’re capable of thinking for yourself.
When you come out of an abusive situation, this concept is foreign and oftentimes uncomfortable. So when you begin to journal out your thoughts and write out your affirmations, it connects with your brain on another level.
That’s why I always recommend journaling the old fashioned, pen to paper way. Voice notes and typing something are good in a pinch, but writing it down on paper is the absolute best way.
Unlock things in your brain that you didn’t even know were there
The thing that fascinates me the most about journaling is that you’ll find yourself writing down things that you didn’t even realize you were thinking.
For example, take the Why Test (click here to read it). The deeper you go into your why, the more you write down, you’ll begin to make connections and figure out why your brain responds to situations in a certain way.
Next thing you know, you’re writing down an answer to a prompt you didn’t even know was in your brain.
When you write, you’re allowing yourself to be vulnerable. The more you write, the more vulnerable you become. I realize that may be scary to read but hear me out.
So often we lose ourselves and forget who we are. We don’t know what we like or don’t like, we don’t know how to play, we don’t know how to connect with our true self. So the idea of really getting to the root of problems in our brain can be utterly terrifying. I ran from it for a very long time.
But the more you journal, the easier this becomes. The more vulnerable you allow yourself to be, the more you’re going to connect with your true self.
The biggest thing to remember is that this isn’t for anyone else to see, this is just for you. You don’t need to put on some sort of front. Just let the thoughts flow and you’re going to unlock some pretty amazing things.
I’m not saying that journaling is going to be this magic thing that’s going to fix your life. But there is so much magic you’ll find in journaling that you’ll be able to figure out what you need to do to improve your life.
If you commit to journaling every day, you’ll see a difference a lot sooner than you think.
I don’t mean sitting at your desk for hours and hours either. Just spending a few minutes a day writing down your thoughts or answering a journal prompt will be enough to open up and begin to change.
Just like with everything else, you can’t expect to journal once and find the secret that’s locked deep inside your brain. Its something you need to be consistent about.
If you can commit to journaling every day for 30 days, you’re going to blow your dang mind.
If you’re down to journal but don’t know where to start, trust me, I feel you. It can be overwhelming and you don’t know where to start.
That’s why I created Journal to Freedom: 30+ journal prompts to change your life. This ebook has my absolute favorite journal prompts and has more than enough for you to do a prompt a day. Normally priced at $17, you get it for $9! Since you’re all in on this journaling journey, I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to get started.
Click here to grab your ebook and start journaling today!