At The Bench Project we are all about Sharing your Story. It is the heart of connection not only to yourself, but to the collective.
Journaling is a way to record your experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Keeping a journal can be a beneficial self-care practice.
Why journal? I’ll give you a few good reasons to put pen to paper or fingers to keypad.
- Goals: When you use your journal to write down your goals, you can keep better track of your intentions. This will help you stay accountable and serve as a reminder of what you need to do to accomplish them. Be specific. You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down!
- Growth: If you make journaling a regular habit, you can see how much progress or growth you’ve made spiritually, emotionally or physically by revisiting previous entries. Progress keeps you moving forward!
- Confidence: Your self-confidence will increase with seeing your progress. You can feel proud looking back at the challenges you faced and seeing how far you’ve come.
- Communication: Communication and writing, like anything, improves with practice. When you journal every day, you’re practicing the art of writing. And if you use a journal to express your thoughts and ideas, it’ll help improve your overall communication skills, which equals better connection.
- Relieve Stress: Stress and anxiety are a state that many people live in every day. When negative thoughts and emotions are at the forefront in our heads, it can be difficult to see our present situation with perspective. But if you stop and put your emotions down on paper, it can help you release negative thoughts from your mind. As you write, you may even come up with a solution you hadn’t thought of before. At The Bench Project we encourage you to Leave it at the Bench.
- Inspiration: Inspiration comes in many forms. Use your journaling time to brainstorm or let your imagination run wild. The inspiration that may pop up while you’re writing or sketching might even surprise you. If you are reading a community journal, read the other entries. You may find the inspiration you were searching for in someone else’s words.
- Memory: Your memory can improve with journaling. Even the simple act of writing something down lets your brain know you want to remember it. That’s why notetaking is such an effective practice when learning something new. Knowing stress, anxiety and aging can negatively affect our memory, journaling can be a positive practice to incorporate in your daily routine.
If you are new to journaling, I like the simple practice of word journaling. Pick a word. Write anything that comes to your mind about it. Draw a picture. Usually after a few minutes, a memory or forgotten thought will appear. Write it down. It’s fun!
Here is an example. The word is sky. I look up. I write.
The sky is so blue today and so vast. I can see the faint shadow of the moon. I like flying and going to new places. I am always amazed at how quickly you can be literally in another world with air travel. The first time I flew I was 21 and I flew alone. I was brave. I’m still brave! I remember when I was a kid we would lay in the picky, green grass and try to find pictures in the clouds. That was a simple time in my life. Why do we make things so complicated? I think I’ll lay in the grass today and look for cloud animals.
You get the picture…..just start!
Remember there is no right or wrong approach. It’s all up to you. The simple act of taking the time to get in touch with your mind, body and spirit is what’s truly important.