Keeping a journal has long been recognised as a way of building a greater self-awareness and provides an excellent tool to help us practise gratitude, both of which contribute to us leading happy, fulfilling lives.
The daily ritual of keeping a journal helps us maintain a mindful focus on the things we experience every day and encourages us to see our own lives through a different lens – enabling us to gain perspective in our otherwise hectic, busy lives.
Daily writing in a journal – even just for a few minutes – really helps us concentrate on what’s important to us. It’s therapeutic, enabling us to appreciate the positives in the everyday and supporting us as we analyse and make sense of the negative issues and events that we all encounter from time to time.
In much the same way that blogging has been shown to have positive benefits for teenagers, journaling has been found to be a great tool for improving our self-esteem and easing social anxiety. They key is to use your journal as a way of gaining a deeper understanding of your emotions and to develop a greater self-awareness. You can find out more about how negative thought patterns can cause us to feel ‘stuck’ – and what journaling can do to help us in this Psychology Today article.
When it comes to keeping a journal, there really is no right or wrong way or a one size fits all, but you may find the following guidelines helpful: