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Why Journaling is the Secret Weapon for Self-Introspection, Goal Achievement, and Mindfulness

Ever wondered how some folks always seem to be in touch with themselves, always appear clear-headed, and seem to have their stuff together? Well, guess what? They might just have a secret weapon up their sleeve: Journaling! Yup, that age-old practice of putting pen to paper and letting the words flow.

Our very own Coach Christine has journaled daily for over 4 years (woah, commitment, right?) and claims it’s been a total game-changer in her life journey. But don’t just take Christine's word for it! There's a bunch of cool science behind this, and we’re here to spill the beans.

Dive Deep into Self-Introspection

Journaling isn't just about writing down what you had for lunch (although if it's tacos, we totally want to hear about it!). It's about diving deep into your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. According to a psychotherapy study published in Science Direct participants who journaled showed an increase in self-awareness compared to those who didn't. However, we hear all the time how journaling can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Here are a couple of tips to help.

Tips for the Intimidated:

  • Start simple. Write about your day.

  • Ask yourself questions: What made me happy today? What challenged me? What did I learn?

Move Towards Your Goals

Got dreams? Heck yeah, you do! 🌈 By journaling, you give your aspirations the attention they deserve. A study from Dominican University found that writing down your goals, sharing them, and sending weekly updates to a friend increases the likelihood of achieving them.

Tips for the Reluctant Dreamer:

  • Dedicate a page to your goals, both big and small.

  • Update and revisit them. Celebrate those victories, no matter how tiny!

Clear the Mental Clutter

Feeling like your brain's been caught in a tornado? 🌪️ Journaling helps to declutter your mind. The act of writing organizes your thoughts, making them more tangible and manageable. Coach Shelby, refers to her journaling practice as a daily "brain dump."

A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that expressive writing reduces intrusive and avoidant thoughts about negative events, helping you move on.

Tips for the Overwhelmed:

  • Start with free flowing entries - Just write everything that comes to mind.

  • Do it regularly. Think of it as housecleaning for the mind!

Harness the Power of Your Mind

Ever felt like your thoughts are a wild horse, running all over the place? Journaling acts like the reins, giving you control and direction. By reflecting on your thoughts, you can identify patterns, triggers, and strategies to tackle challenges.

Tips for the Scatterbrained:

  • Structure might be your friend. Try templates or prompts.

  • Reflect, don’t ruminate. It’s about understanding, not overthinking.

Cultivate Mindfulness and Presence

Being present is a gift (pun totally intended 😉). Mindfulness isn’t just for those yogis; it’s for

everyone. Journaling brings you back to the moment. According to the National Library of Medicine, reflective writing can lead to personal growth, emotional validation, and cognitive exploration, all components of mindfulness.

Tips for the Distracted:

  • Try gratitude journaling. Write 3 things you’re thankful for daily.

  • Focus on the present moment when writing. Forget yesterday or tomorrow for a bit.

For Those Still Feeling Intimidated:

Look, we get it. Staring at a blank page can be like staring into the abyss. But remember, there's no "right" way to journal. It's your personal space, free from judgment.

And here’s a secret: Consistency matters more than content. It's not about writing a novel, but about returning to yourself, day after day.

So, grab that journal, friend. Whether it's a fancy leather-bound diary, a digital app, or a plain old notebook from the dollar store – it's your journey. Own it.

Stay curious, stay reflective, and happy journaling!

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