Starting a Journal in January: The Benefits of Reflection on our Mental Wellbeing

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

As the calendar turns a new leaf and January ushers in a fresh start, many of us embark on journeys of self-improvement and personal growth. Amidst the resolutions and aspirations for the year ahead, one powerful yet often overlooked tool for fostering mental wellbeing is the simple act of journaling.

To start with, it’s important to ask ourselves why it’s important to reflect, what is the power of self-reflection? According to Harvard Business Review [1] , “the practice itself is all about learning, looking back on the day (without bias or regret) to contemplate your behavior and its consequences. It requires sitting with yourself, taking an honest moment to think about what transpired, what worked, what didn’t, what can be done, and what can’t. Reflection requires courage. It is thoughtful and deliberate. Being at the “top of your game” only comes when you extract from your past.”

Additionally, “research shows the habit of reflection can separate extraordinary professionals from mediocre ones. We would go so far as to argue that it’s the foundation that all other soft skills grow from.” To read more about this, please visit https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/134454.The_Reflective_Practitioner

On point, what about our mental health? “By reflecting on past experiences and behaviors, individuals can identify patterns, triggers, and areas for personal development. Self-reflection also provides an opportunity to explore emotions and thoughts, helping individuals to gain a better understanding of their mental and emotional wellbeing [2] .”

Additionally, according to Health Affiliates Maine [3] :

  1. How do I calm my mind?
  2. Take a few deep breaths; practice breath work
  3. Stretch your body
  4. Go for a walk; move your body
  5. Journal, meditate, pray
  6. How do I practice self-reflection? Ask yourself:
  7. What does this make me think?
  8. How does it make me feel?
  9. How does it hold me back?

So, let’s sum it by starting a journal in January! How? Let’s read 7 tips and techniques [4] :

  1. Find the journaling techniques that work for you
  2. Let go of judgments (write for your eyes only)
  3. Keep expectations realistic
  4. Create a writing routine
  5. Journal about anything that comes to mind
  6. Use journal prompts
  7. Get creative

In conclusion, initiating in January the practice of journaling emerges as a powerful catalyst for enhancing our mental wellbeing. The act of reflection not only serves as a therapeutic outlet but also facilitates a deeper understanding of our thoughts and emotions. As we embark on this journey of self-discovery, the benefits extend beyond the pages of our journal, contributing significantly to our overall psychological resilience and mindfulness.

References

 [1]https://hbr.org/2022/03/dont-underestimate-the-power-of-self-reflection

 [2]https://quenza.com/blog/knowledge-base/mental-health-tool-for-self-reflection/#:~:text=By%20reflecting%20on%20past%20experiences,mental%20and%20emotional%20well%2Dbeing.

 [3]https://www.healthaffiliatesmaine.com/can-self-reflection-help-my-mental-health/

 [4]https://www.betterup.com/blog/how-to-start-journaling

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