Journaling is a wonderful tool to use for self-improvement, self-discovery and healing. It can give you a peek into your internal world and help you see what’s hiding in there. Based on what you find, you can then make the necessary changes you need to improve who you are and the life that you live.
Benefits of Journaling
There are many benefits to journaling and it can be used to achieve a wide range of things. I’m going to share my three favourite benefits of journaling related to healing and spiritual growth.
1. Building Self-Awareness
It’s incredibly hard to see yourself objectively in life. We have mirrors to help us see ourselves physically. But what about seeing who we are mentally, emotionally and spiritually? There’s no mirror you can stand in front of that will give you a reflection of those aspects of yourself because they’re all energetic.
The only way to become aware of those aspects of yourself is through self-reflection. Journaling is one of the easiest ways to do that. When you start writing things down and re-reading it, that page filled with all those words serves as a mirror reflection to show you these invisible things that live inside of you – your thoughts, feelings and emotions. It gives you an image of how your internal world is like.
2. Develop and Strengthen Intuition
As human beings, we have a tendency to seek help and answers from outside of us. We automatically turn to “experts”, “gurus”, “authority figures” and “thought leaders” to help us with our problems. Of course, it’s important to recognize where our limitations are and know when we need to seek professional help. However, I am a strong believer that all the answers we ever need can be found inside of us. It’s important to develop yourself and mature into that place where you become independent and don’t rely on outside sources for answers.
This happens only when you know who you are and the power you hold inside of yourself. I have found that journalling has been a really good way to help me develop my own intuition and learn how to trust it. When I re-read my entries and see evidence that my gut feeling was correct, it strengthens my confidence in trusting my own all-knowing inner voice.
3. A Tool for Self-Love
Journaling can be seen like a science experiment where you collect data on yourself. The longer you do this for, the more data you have. When you compare the data, it will show you how much you’ve grown, healed and transformed over the years.
It’s hard to see these changes within us on a day-to-day basis because we are living each day in our bodies. These subtle changes are too small to be noticeable. But the longer you journal for and the larger the time gap between entries you compare, the stronger the contrast will be. This makes it much easier to recognize the changes that have taken place. Seeing the change in your thought patterns, how you deal with your feelings and the challenges you’ve overcome really helps you appreciate how much you’ve grown as a person. Self-appreciation and self-compassion develops, which is the first step to cultivating self-love.
Methods of Journaling
When people think about journalling, they automatically think about writing in a notebook. That is definitely a good way to start, however I’m going to introduce two other ways you can journal. Remember, the point of journalling is to express your thoughts and emotions in a place that you can review later. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just find something that feels natural for you.
1. Notebook Journaling
There’s something about the physical process of holding a pen and writing things down on a piece of paper that really helps alchemize energies. It moves your thoughts out of your mind onto the paper. It moves your emotions out of your emotional body onto the paper. This can be very healing.
2. Journaling App
Typing out your entries is a great way for people who are more technology-oriented. It’s a good option for those who don’t want to use paper. It also organizes entries in an easy-to-search way.
3. Voice Recordings
When you record yourself speaking, you are not just recording the words you speak but also the tones in your voice in that specific moment. These tones give you another dimension to the state you’re in at the time of entry. As a person who works intimately with sound, I can tell you that people’s voice reveals a lot of information that writing down words simply cannot capture.
Step-By-Step Process to Journaling for Self-Improvement
In order to be able use journaling for self-improvement, you have to remember this key point: it’s what you do with the data AFTERWARDS. If you’re just dumping your thoughts and emotions into your notebook to create space in your head, there’s not going to be much healing or growth that comes out of that.
To improve your life with journaling, you can follow my framework:
What area do you want to improve on? For example, if you want to improve your relationship with your significant other, then write about that in your journal. The point here is to start gathering data in that area of your life by writing down all your thoughts and feelings related to it. As you build up a bigger library of entries over time, there will be more information to work with. It will be easier to identify major themes in those areas of your life and begin to unravel them.
Take your journal entry and re-read it from a third person perspective, as if you’re reading a story about someone else. This will help you look at what you wrote objectively and identify any qualities, behaviours, beliefs or patterns about yourself you want to change.
Once you know what you want to change, you can create a plan with action steps that you can realistically take. Then find supportive tools to help you implement them so you can achieve your goals.
Journaling itself is just a process of writing things down. Using it to improve your life and who you are requires you to do something with what you wrote down. You’ll need to reflect on those things and implement changes that move you in the direction towards who you want to become.
If you are experiencing writer’s block or just don’t know where to start, consider using journal prompts. You can go through my blog entry here where I’ve put together some prompts to help you start. If you are looking for more personalized ones, I provide them in my Metamorphosis Inner Healing Program. This program is designed for people who are looking to dive deeper into their healing work, where they want to discover and heal the root cause of their chronic problems.
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