We’ve all heard time and time before — if you want to be successful with weight loss, you need to keep a food journal, right? Just who thinks this whole food journal keeping concept is important? Well, how about all of these folks, just to name a few:
- Everyday Health
- Weight Watchers
- ACE Fitness (the folks who certify personal trainers)
- Dr. Oz
The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. Tracking what we eat, how much we eat, etc. is an important part of not only helping us lose excess weight, but to help keep it off as well.
Today I want to discuss another aspect of journal writing. I want to focus more on the benefits of journaling our emotions, life lessons learned, even just the seemingly mundane daily events of our lives. Keeping a journal can be beneficial in so many ways.
- It can help build self-esteem.
- It can help solve problems.
- It can help us learn and understand more about ourselves and our thought processes.
- It can help us let go of the past so we can start to move forward.
Again, this list could go on and on as there are so many amazing benefits of journaling. I’ve been journaling off and on since I was in college. Writing helped me get through a couple of very dark times in my life when I was dealing with depression. It kept me sane as I was going through my divorce. It helped me celebrate when I found happiness again. My journals have truly become the story of my life in many ways. They are something that are completely mine and I’ve never shared them with anyone — no, not even my husband when I was married.
I know many journal writers extol the idea of hand-written journals, but that’s not been my preferred medium in YEARS. While I understand their theory that there’s just something very powerful about the whole tactile concept of taking pen in hand and writing out one’s thoughts, I just never seem to have the time for that. It’s just so much faster for me to get my thoughts out on the computer because I can type much faster than I can write something by hand. (There’s also the added benefit of spell check on the computer. Just sayin’.) I’ve been journaling on my computer for over 20 years and just can’t see that I would ever go back to pen and paper at this point. Anyway, I think the actual writing of one’s thoughts is far more important than the medium through which one accomplishes it.
Not sure where to start with writing a journal? There are lots of great sites online with information on how to get started. If you don’t want to sit down and read about how to get started, you can check out this podcast (~13 minutes) for info on getting started, too. Once you have the basics down, there are also lots of great sites out there with writing prompts that you can use if you find yourself in a slump. Here are a few to get you started:
- 80 Journal Writing Prompts
- JournalingPrompts.com (hover over the asterisk [*] icons to see the prompts)
- Your Memories
- Reflective Journal Writing Prompts
- Gratitude Journal
If you don’t already journal, I really want to encourage you to do so. I’m a very firm believer in the power of journaling. So, my challenge for each of you this week is to give journaling a try. Take 10 minutes each day this week to just sit down for a few minutes and journal — either by hand on paper or on your computer. Hey, if nothing else, it gives you 10 minutes of time to just sit and reflect on your day, your life, your family, etc., and that can’t be a bad thing, right?