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Human Performance Blog

10 Reasons You Should do 'IT' - Even though you Don't (#ItFactors)

There are some things that we know we should do, things that would make a difference to our physical, mental and emotional health...but just don't.

The 'should do-but don't do' list include things like exercising regularly, drinking water, eating fruit and vegetables, breathing deeply to name a few.

Here's the tricky thing about things that we should do...

1- we KNOW we should 2- we KNOW it works

Yet...we just...don't. I am guilty of this too!

One of the 'it' things that we should do but don't do is Journaling. Here is a list of the 10 reasons why you should start or get back to journaling regularly!

Comment Below: Which of these reasons would you say 'does it' for you?

Why Journal?

--Famous/Influential People Do it--Some of the most influential people in history kept a Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Frida Kahlo...ok so these are the oldies and not bad company to keep. However, Emma Watson, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, and Michael Phelps do as well.

--Personal Safe Space--Writing things down creates a safe space to think, feel, and be anyway you are or want to be at the moment. So there is no need to worry about the pen and paper or keyboard and screen judging you (I hope not) for thinking a certain way, telling bad jokes, or getting caught up in the feelings.

--Brain Yoga--Writing down your thoughts is like yoga for the brain. It opens up space in areas that have been overworked, feels stiff or tight. In the morning it can help warm you up and prime yourself for the day, and at night it can help rest and restore you from the day. It helps keep the mind healthy and prevents against injuries (mental fatigue, lack of focus).

--Tracks Progress--Its interesting to be able to go back to previous entries and relive the good days and see challenges that have been overcome. Its like a mental Before and After series! To see growth, adaptations, perspective shifts and mindset adjustments.

--Opportunity to Purge--A unique opportunity to remove myself and reassess something that happened or something that was said…you know the kinda stuff that would ordinarily create a dwelling or overthinking cycle. Put it all there on paper and leave it there…at least giving my brain permission to put it down, relax a little….or even space to overthink about something else (no lies here).

--Self Awareness--Keeping a journal allows you to apply ideas, goals, and visions into your own life. Ultimately identifying questions, problems, reactions, confusions, and perceptions. Specifically making a reflective journal is an opportunity to look inward at how you interact with others, is affected by life, and the world.

--Meeting the Best Self--There is a calmness that comes from journaling. Looking at situations, decisions, stress, and pressure as my best self, removed from the physical and emotional consequences. Furthermore, getting to know, accept and love the version of me that is not controlled by emotional reactions or responses.

--Perspective Shift--Looking at a situation while somewhat removed from it can create a psychological blueprint. Navigating challenges in more than one way, with clarity, that is, without the pressure of a pending decision, or with the removal of the emotional consequences.

--Variety--Journals serve many purposes, in fact there are different kinds of journals. Some are used to document, track progress on a goal, keep a record, or my personal favorite to use as a release of the days baggage. Additionally, there are different methods to use for a journal; writing, typing, audio, guided or free-flow. Many options and combinations.

--Confidence Boost--Setting a goal to complete a journal entry each day, however short or long can feed into your self-efficacy and cultivate positive affirmations and activates your neural reward systems, you allow yourself to build on tiny successes, with each one being just as valuable as the last. Over time these compounding micro-successes translate into higher levels of belief in one’s self and the ability to get things done.

Ready to get back to 'it'? Here's a few tips to use when Journaling...

-1- Include your thoughts, feeling, emotions and behaviors…many times we focus on the strongest emotions and ignore the others…tell your story.

-2- Ask yourself…after writing the narrative….Why do/did I feel that way? Awareness is step 1 of the mental wellness journey…step two is acknowledging it!

-3- Write on good days AND bad days…journaling helps you process the tough days AND celebrate the good days!

Which of these reasons made you think twice about starting or re-starting journaling?

Leave a comment!


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