How Journaling Can Make You Happier
In life, one of the most common issues that we can face stems from an inability to know what tomorrow hold. For me, and likely for you, that uncertainty can be quite off-putting and unsettling. If you find yourself in that particular position, you might find it hard to snap free and to find focus once again. For years, I would find it hard to plan out tomorrow and stay focused day-in, day-out. Why? I could never work it out. One day, though, I did. I couldn’t plan tomorrow because I never took the time to analyse today! So, I picked up the art of journaling.
This was a major failing on my part, and something that I have desperately wanted to change. For me, it’s a one-way ticket to a sense of happiness, completion, and progression. Why, though? How can journaling make you happier?
From a personal perspective, I found the following:
You’ll connect with people better than ever
One of the main reasons that journaling made my happier is it made me change how I plan out my events. In the past, I would, for example, plan to go for a restaurant dinner every Saturday. However, as I started journaling, I more thought about who I was with as opposed to what I would be doing. Instead of planning that I would go to a restaurant on Saturday, I changed my plans entirely.
Instead, my journaling became that on a Saturday I would spend time with friends or family. This set in stone an idea that I was doing an activity with someone, as opposed to having someone tag along to an activity. It helped me to connect with people and instead made my planned activities more unique, exciting, and ambitious. I also had something I looked forward to writing about every week. It keeps me accountable to keeping up with my social networks which is part of my self care.
Learn your emotions
When journaling how I would feel during the day, I started trying to think about emotions as much as actions. How did I feel when talking to a new client? Or trying to solve a social problem with a friend?
I would love to try and work out where I felt good and where I did not. For example, if I was noticing that I had a lot of stomach cramps I would look to find ways to combat that. Instead of simply knowing I felt worried or scared, I look at what those emotions done to me – and it made me much more active in finding solutions.
Reconsider your actions
A great reason for journaling, I found, was to give me pause and to look back on my actions. With journaling, I was usually reflecting on my day after an event and after hours have passed and emotions have calmed. This made it much easier for me to look and decide if really did make the right decision in reacting as I did.
You, too, will find that you can start to reconsider your actions. This is great for self-development, leading to happiness as you stop making the same mistakes and learn to think before you act. We often act out in anger and regret it later. Asking yourself these questions regularly will help make the act of thinking about your actions become a habit.
Build a routine
However, I also found that journaling tended to make me happier as I had a day-to-day routine that I could actually follow. This meant that each day had the following answers solved:
How am I going to start my day? When did I get up and what did I do?
What will I eat and drink first thing in the morning? Which combinations were positive?
What are you going to tackle first in the day? What seems to make you most productive?
By journaling your life, you start to notice what you do well and what you do not. I found this extremely helpful and can only recommend it. Soon, you’ll work out what days work and what days don’t, based purely on how they started.
Lastly, the one thing that I learned through journaling is that it made me feel far more gratitude than beforehand. I started to really look back on the good things that I take for granted, and to really evaluate what goes well in my personal and professional life. This led to a much more positive outlook, ensuring I was grateful for what I had instead of resentful for what I lacked.
Can you see, then, why journaling is the key to happiness? By building a much more structured way to view your life and evaluate your decisions, it’s much easier to find genuine success long-term. The happiest and most productive people are doing it, why not you?