Second Important Habit is Write it Down!
The second most important habit that I have recently started is journaling. Let's talk about what that means; what is journaling? To get to what it is, we need to mention first what it's not. Journaling is not your diary, it could be, but then we should just call it a diary. It's not meant for you to get up early in the morning and write your travelogue, documenting what you did yesterday, not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's not completely journaling.
I started journaling after reading about how beneficial it is, and how if you are stressed out, writing down your feeling about what is stressing you out, can make you feel better. I tried it, it worked and I was hooked. However, I journal every day now, not just when I am stressed because I also discovered that there's so many other benefits to journaling, here's a list of a few:
1. Release Stress - The best way to put stress aside and be able to move on with your day and have a productive time, is to leave your stress behind on paper. Sometimes when we are going through a difficult time, we had a fight with a friend or spouse, we failed at a project, we were disappointed or hurt by someone we love, and all our brain does is dwell on never-ending negative thoughts. Thought that will accomplish nothing, but simply make you madder, sadder, and emotionally drained. This would typically be a day wasted on things we cannot control, until you write your feelings down. Releasing these emotions on paper, and not having to share them with anyone frees you from these feelings somehow and allows you to continue your day and become more productive. This will give you a chance to heal, think more rationally, and allow sometime to work things out. This is documented in research, like this one describing the Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, and it is beneficial in helping you cope.
2. Brainstorm Creatively - Journaling helps you think of new and creative ideas; when I feel stuck on something, it's helped me think through different scenarios and harness new ideas be more creative. From that you start to see new opportunities, and uncover new ideas.
3. Document Emotions - Processing thoughts and memories by journaling has also helped me process complex experiences that have happened, good or bad. It allows you to think through these thoughts, be honest and understand things on a deeper level. Sometimes reflecting on a memory or an experience that is nagging in your mind, helps you think more clearly and see a different side of that memory or experience. Journaling from that respect is like therapy, where the processed negative emotions can be left on paper, to frees you up to focus on being grateful and practicing gratitude.
4. Communicate Better - When you feel lost and unable to communicate your feelings, journaling helps give you the words to describe, analyze and communicate them better. It's a safe way for your to explore those feelings and find ways to translate them into words for clarity.
5. Manifest Your Future - It's been said that documenting what you want to accomplish, gets you much closer to achieving them. When you start to make a list of the things you would like to accomplish, by writing it down, you start to visualize it, it helps you organize yourself, stay motivated, and give you clarity on your next steps and helps you set goals.
6. Build Good Habits - Journaling also helps keep you honest, on track and motivated to continue pursuing your dreams. When you think about keeping a journal, it helps you realize that you want to document a successful life, and motivates you to act upon it for the rest of that day. if you start journaling regularly, it's one habit that helps you get one step closer to achieving these goals.
Part of keeping you motivated to journal, I like to find a nice journal that looks a little fancy, because I believe that these thoughts, emotions, and aspirations are worth keeping in a beautiful journal. Imagine all your dreams come true, and Hollywood comes knocking on your door to ask you about a script of your life or a big publisher wants you to write a book, and you hand them a fancy looking journal with a leather cover -- that's called manifesting.