If you’re like most people today, you have little time to spare, and the idea of setting aside a few extra minutes to keep a daily journal sounds like just another way of squandering away precious moments of your day.
But when you set aside a few moments – even if it’s only five minutes before breakfast – to keep a daily journal, you may discover that not only does time seem to slow down, but your view of the world (and of yourself) comes into sharper focus.
Here’s a short list of five benefits that you’ll discover as soon as you start keeping your journal:
1) Slowing down. The moment you open your journal and begin writing, you’ll find that taking time to reflect on what you do during your day will help you slow down. Instead of rushing from task to task, trying to cram a list of activities into a short time, you can step outside the pressure of deadlines and multitasking, and simply enjoy the moment. Once you slow down long enough to write in your journal, you can take pleasure in the way your thoughts unfold. You can hear what you’re thinking. You can see the people and the scenery around you more clearly.
2) Noticing the world. Writing in your journal helps you notice things that you may have overlooked in the rush to get things done. You’ll start to notice what you may have missed or overlooked while you were speeding past. Your journal helps shift your perspective. It’s like the difference between traveling across country by foot instead of by plane. When you slow down, you begin to notice the world and can take in a lot more of life.
3) Appreciating life. In the process of slowing down and noticing the world, you come to appreciate the beauty in your own world, the people who give your life its richness and texture, and the work that allows you to find meaning in your life. You begin to appreciate the way life has unfolded to bring you to this moment. And you begin to appreciate your gifts, as well as the gifts of others, that make the world such a remarkable place. Writing in your journal can help you appreciate the connection between all the different aspects of your life.
4) Deeper awareness. Once you begin to notice and appreciate the world around you, your awareness of life deepens. You become more mindful about what you say and what you do, and more aware of the feelings of those around you – friends and family – and how your words and actions have the power to draw you closer to them or push them further away. You become aware of the choices that you’ve made in your life. As your awareness deepens, you’ll begin to recognize deeper connections between people and things, as well as the flow of energy linking us to one another.
5) Gratitude. With this deeper sense of awareness comes gratitude for each moment. The more time that you devote to keeping your journal, the more your senses will expand into the world. You’ll be able to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel things that you might have missed if you were still rushing through life. As your senses expand, you’ll begin to notice more and more things to appreciate, which leads to a greater sense of gratitude.
If you think you have too little time or are convinced you must finish a certain task before you begin keeping a journal, perhaps you’ll consider these five blessings and ask yourself if you can afford to live without them.
Why not make time now and begin?