We’ve all heard of the limitless benefits of achieving “self-awareness”. This word evokes all the best connotations one could think of and healthy activities like meditation, wellbeing, etc. But what’s most important here is that it also can be associated with inner harmony, and it is the most relevant one to discuss.
For many people, the state of self-awareness is associated with inner harmony and has lots of advantages indeed. Improving relationships, reducing stress, boosting focus and productivity, just to name a few. And there exist many ways to achieve it. Many psychologists advise special training or practices, aka self-awareness activities. Some spiritual teachers, mostly related to India or Tibet, organize special sessions to connect with nature and inner feelings. Yes, those tactics can really help to achieve a desired state of self-awareness, or, at least, reduce stress, increase their focus, and bring other positive changes to an inner condition.
Still, all those practices with psychologists, hikes in the wild, and sessions are usually costly, so not affordable to everyone looking for inner harmony. But the truth is, to increase your awareness, you do not have to spend a dime! The path to your higher self-awareness is right in your hands! And this is to understand literally. With the help of simple writing practice, you can reap all the benefits self-awareness can bring! Read on to learn more about this popular technique.
Benefits you will have from journaling
Writing is something everyone can do, and no special education is required. Still, it’s not about producing regular pieces of writing. It is way easier. Usually, if we sit down at the desk to write something, it is usually about working on some reports, orders, notes, writing assignments, etc. Thus, our ordinary writing has specific goals, and we know what to write, in what order, and structure. In the case of journaling, there’s neither a purpose nor structure. All you need is just to write what you want, where the stream of your consciousness flows. “And how will that bring me closer to self-awareness?” you may ask. Instead of answering this question right away, let’s start with familiarizing you with the list of benefits this method provides for granted:
- Improved self-understanding: as in the process of freewriting you can disclose your intentions, feelings, thoughts, priorities, and values.
- Improved mental, emotional, and even physical condition.
And those several points are just a few of the advantages you get if you set a habit of journaling your life. Journaling can also improve the mental health of youth.
How it’s possible
“Ok, – you could say – but how is that all possible?”. The answer to this question is in a series of effects that the practice of journaling will inevitably have on your consciousness shortly after you begin it:
1. Stabilizing focus. If you think of why your focus gets dispersed so often without asking your permission is pretty obvious. The thing is that when thinking, we deal with our thoughts, and they are of a very unstable fluctuating nature. When you start writing, your thinking synchronizes with it. So that you start to think at the pace of your writing and not faster. Your mind gradually calms down, and you get focused. The same logic lies behind reducing stress while writing, as well.
Sometimes, problems with setting a focus attack those with a job associated with writing. Journaling can address those issues and help to cope.
2. Decluttering your thoughts. When you write everything that comes to your mind, at first, you mostly deal with the clutter. But after some time and quite a number of pages, you subconsciously start to be more focused and concentrate on what you want to say. Your mind slows down, and, in the end, you are getting a range of valuable thoughts and conclusions.
3. A better understanding of yourself. With the help of freewriting, you can discover something new about yourself, like your true motives and desires. For example, there can be situations requiring you to make some choices. You make those choices, backing them up with reasons. And if you write about that situation, your choice, and causes in more detail in your diary, you could find out something interesting and unexpected. And that new information could turn to a new insight about your true self and your true values. This inevitably leads to improvements in many spheres of life and, first of all, the chance to experience true internal happiness!
How to start making all that magic?
You could have never been fond of writing, even sometimes (or every time, if honestly) been hating it to the bottom of your heart. And if you write, you do it without any taste or pleasure. Well, that’s, of course, a pity. But in the case of journaling, this absolutely doesn’t matter! You can do it with whatever thoughts bothering you, without any controlling agents. Just be yourself and write everything that comes to your mind. And maybe sometime later, you will notice that your attitude to writing has changed. Why? – Simply because the reason for your bad attitude to writing was most likely caused by restrictions put on it. And when you’re journaling your life, you have none of such.
What to write about
To achieve an efficient therapeutic effect, your journaling should reflect a free stream of your thoughts. But sometimes, because of the inner restrictions, this can turn into a real challenge. So, here is a shortlist of topics for your free writing:
- Describing each day in detail
- Answering the question “how I feel about…” or just “how I feel?”
- Remembering the brightest days and events in your life
- Sharing your thoughts about the fascinating people you know
- Plans, etc.
As you see, you can write literally on anything in your life. The main thing here is to be sincere and write what you really think and feel. Luckily, there are things in our lives that we can do without any instructions, relying on our feelings only. Improving self-awareness via journaling is one of those. The journaling practice is highly effective in changing your life, getting to know the true you, and even improving your health. All you need to let it work for you is to be sincere with yourself!