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  • Writer's pictureJustin McLennan

The Power of Journaling

I've read books, blogs, and listened to podcasts, all of which discuss the power of journaling. They say journaling can help improve every area of your life; it will clear your emotions, increase your gratitude, heal the past, enhance self-trust, reduce your stress and much more. Each time I would hear or read about journaling, I would be inspired to start but would never follow through. I couldn't get behind that idea that journaling just a little each day or week could have such a positive impact on me and be worth my time. Well, after making a promise to my coach that I would, I stand here today as proof that journaling indeed does have superpowers.

I was prompted to journal one day after work when I was feeling underappreciated and seeking reassurance from others that I was doing a great job. After not receiving any form of appreciation for a few days I found myself stressed and second-guessed the work I had completed, even though I knew deep down inside that it had exceeded any expectations. I had kept telling myself "my work isn't good enough," to "I'm not good enough." But being aware of my thoughts and feelings, I knew it was time for a change. I needed a solution.

The pain encouraged me to get out my notebook and pen and to start writing. Only instead of just writing down my thoughts, I felt the urge to write a letter to myself. In the letter, I acknowledged myself for the hard work I had done, appreciated myself for the dedication to my work, and ultimately expressed how proud of myself I was for completing a great project. It was the first time I had ever written a letter to myself, and it was one of the most therapeutic exercises I have ever done. For the first time, I experienced the superpowers of journaling.

I realized that I didn't need the acceptance and appreciation of others. I needed it from myself. I needed to congratulate myself and take time to appreciate what I had accomplished. As soon as I took the time for self-care through journaling, I felt free. I learned valuable information about how to improve my emotional well-being. I became in touch with my inner world. It created clarity on why I was feeling the way I was and provided me with a sense of calmness. My stress dwindled away as I became present and I was happy again.

I have since continued journaling, and it has had a positive impact on different aspects of my life. I encourage you to give it a try if it's not something you are currently doing today. You don't have to journal for an extended period of time to reap its powers and rewards, just go out and try it.

Here are a few pointers:

1. Begin anywhere. Just start writing. 2. There are no grades given in journaling. Forget about grammar. 3. Find time. Either wake up a little early or write before you fall asleep. 4. Aim for a set time to stick with. Even if it's just three minutes. 5. Make it fun. Have conversations with famous people, dead or alive.

Tip: Start with, "Right now I am feeling..."

"Journal what you love, what you hate, what's in your head, what's important. Journaling organizes your thoughts; allows you to see things in a concrete way that otherwise you might not see. Focus on what you think you need to find in your art." - Kay WalkingStick

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