Jolt a Journal for personal growth.

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Dr. Jane Nyutu PhD (Counselling psychology).

Mind & Beyond Counselling Centre.

Mount Kenya University.

What is a journal?

A journal is a tool used for personal development and growth process. It is a record of the daily experiences both exciting, ordinary and painful events one go through. Journal is a record of key lessons drawn from these daily occurrences. Every day is a gift but this gift may present itself in good or bad memories. Keeping a personal journal is helpful in many ways. A journal is one of the best personal growth initiative an individual can have. Openness for growth need to be everyone’s focus.

There are different types of journals namely: diet, travel, exercise, school or college, project, family, therapy, gratitude, dream journal among others. For instance, in a diet journal, one indicates the eating habits like the food one is taking for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also in the list is what one is craving for and whether it is healthy, water intake and time for meals, whether one is exercising or not and how long the body takes to metabolism.

Journal writing enlarges our widows of self-awareness. This entails both positive and negative -our strengths, limitations or liabilities that affect our daily functioning. This awareness enables one to eliminate the liabilities. It aids in clarifying one’s goals, to remain focused and committed in worthy choices. Journal writing helps one engage in a conscious self-talk and in deep thinking about one- self. This kind of thinking makes one to strive thus leading a thoughtful imaginative life which is fulfilling Sharma (2011).

It enables one to record personal insights/reflections on crucial issues, realize the gains that one has made and help one commit to the key things that means a lot to one’s life. One is able to differentiate what works for them, what needs improvement and what doesn’t apply at all.

Journal writing enhances one’s quality of life– (professional, personal, social and spiritual). It gives a private and confidential space to pen down imaginations and to specify future dreams. Writing a journal helps to edit an individual’s past and focus to restart again, identify areas of risks and make amends. It also Helps one to open up to be truthful to self as they seek help where necessary to be able to thrive more.

Journal writing prompts you to ask key reflective questions such as what do I want? Why do I do the things I do? Why don’t I do the things am supposed to do? It enhances psychosocial growth and provides wisdom by giving you a forum to learn, evaluate and make turning points for future positive strides.

The short moments spent in writing a journal might improve your psycho-social and mental well-being. Studies indicate that journal writing improves the immune systems as well as the cognitive attitude.  Life is not about making careless mistakes and repeating them again and again, journal writing gives you a chance to observe the pattern of errors done. Note that how a person carry their life will either encourage or discourage them.

Journal writing brings out those issues that are in one’s mind and heart. It allows the walls of secrets to fall off resulting in a psychological relieve.

Personal dialogue through journaling helps one to have an optimistic view about life and the future. When one writes about your authentic feelings, one releases the guard and letting go drives of psychosomatic illnesses. It helps in becoming more emotionally stable as one pen them down. This process is therapeutic because it dissolves anger before emotions spill over in a hostile and negative way. Journaling helps in listening to inner critic, deal with guilt feeling in a healthy way, and helps one to stop judging themselves so harshly.

It also gives one an opportunity to notice repetitive behavior patterns, and triggers in order to address them.  One become more alert on what is happening around them and Identify fears, patterns that pop up in day -to- day life. It helps an individual to develop new ways of dealing with them before they become disabling.

Journaling allows one to list goals and review progress from time to time. As a result, one become more organized and protect time as well.

When I discover who I am, I will be Free-Ralph Ellison

REFERENCES

Sharma R. (2011). Who will Cry When I die: Life Lessons from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Jaico Books

Handy B. (2017) Why keeping a daily journal could change your life:Medium.com

Madhavi DK. (2022). Journal writing: purpose, types, importance & Benefits


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