Journaling for Improved Perspective
Developing a habit of introspection can be hard, but when you learn to write in your journal every day, you will also learn that you have gained a greater perspective on your life, yourself, and other people. Journaling is a powerful tool for learning to think differently. Here’s why!
The Power of Journaling to Improve Perspective
Expressive writing, as journaling is sometimes called, can not only help improve your mood and memory, but it also enables you to develop a better perspective. Those who journal regularly are better able to assess the situations and relationships in their lives. Journaling helps to increase your optimism as well as help you gain accountability for yourself, your feelings, and your actions. When you take the time to objectively write about yourself, and use your journal as a reflective tool, you can learn a great deal about yourself.
Journals become a record of your habits, emotions, and decisions. Over time, these writings can help you identify patterns in how you are feeling, self-sabotaging behaviors that could be affecting your ability to achieve your goals, and much more. Journals help you figure out where time is being used and abused, which people are more helpful (or harmful) to your emotional well-being, and where you are making the most progress toward your dreams.
Journaling is a cognitive processing act that can help you uncover hard truths about yourself, as well. The more you write about what you are feeling and the sources of your emotions, the better able you are to understand why these triggers are so strong and how you could better handle them.
While the act of writing in your journal helps develop perspective, you also learn a great deal when you go back and read your journal from time to time. The more you think about your own thinking, which is known as metacognition, the more you understand what forces drive and influence you, where your thinking may be faulty, and what areas of your life seem the most likely to suffer from erroneous perspectives or ideas.
Journaling is a way to identify where you are right now. And until you know this, you can’t devise a proper plan for where you want to go. Gaining perspective through journaling is a wonderful way to make better choices that can help you achieve your goals.
Tips to Get Started with Journaling
If you are ready to start a journaling habit, here are some tips to help you get started.
#1. Find a journal you really love. The more it feels like yours, the more likely you will be to write in it every day. Some people enjoy decorating or customizing their journals, so they feel important.
#2. Create a journaling routine. Some people like to write at the same time every day. Some people like to write in their journal with the same activity each day (i.e. after breakfast). Choose the time that works best for you, and then stick to that time. Put it on your calendar or to-do list if you need to but commit to that routine for at least 30 days.
#3. You do not have to write for extended periods, especially at first. Starting with just five minutes a day can get you going, help you see the benefits of journaling, and get you started in your new routine. Once you develop the habit, you can build up your stamina by writing more until you find a period that works best for you.
#4. Don’t stress over what you write. Start with the simple stuff. What did you do today? What is your emotional state? What was something positive or negative that happened to you recently? Once you get going, you will find more interesting and insightful topics, especially as your brain begins to appreciate the opportunity of journaling for helping you work through your feelings.