Can Journaling Be Your Thing? Reasons Why Journaling Might Not Be For You

Self-reflection is critical because it allows you to see yourself objectively and to understand your thoughts and feelings better. It helps you identify areas in your life that you want to change.

Woman with diabetes writing in a book

Photo by Sweet Life / Unsplash

A well-known rapper from the 80s said he couldn't live without his radio!  This girl can't live without her pen and paper; if I can't write through out the day, I feel lost and anxious.  When I don't know what I am doing, I stop, grab my journal and start writing and behold the great reset!  I start to take all these pieces of my mind that feel like a dropped jigsaw puzzle, and I begin to put the picture together.   Does that statement make you cringe?  You may wonder if is journaling right for you.

You know, journaling is an effective tool often used for self-reflection and personal growth. Self-reflection is thinking about and evaluating one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  Sometimes phoning a friend can help, but what often happens is that they give their opinions, and it becomes muddled with your thoughts and more confusion sets in.  In the end, are you following their direction or your own?

If you allow time to settle into your mind then It is a way of assessing yourself to make changes and improve your life. Self-reflection can be done through journaling, therapy, or simply taking time each day to think about your experiences and how they have affected you.

Self-reflection is critical because it allows you to see yourself objectively and to understand your thoughts and feelings better. It helps you identify areas in your life that you want to change. By practicing reflection, you can make positive changes that will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.  I call journaling personal development workbooks.  We can always see how far we have gone if we are in a loop, repeating the same thing repeatedly.

Journaling can also help improve your mental health, physical health, relationships, work-life and more.  However, it's not suitable for everyone.

If you’re not ready to truly look at yourself with an objective eye, act on the information you gain from this insight and do the work necessary to become the person you want to be, or need to have validation of others by talking it out with multiple people then, journaling may not be suitable for you at this time. When you’re ready, then journaling can help.

Below are some characteristics that may indicate that journaling could be a struggle for you. I've also included tips to help you overcome the problem so you can try to make it work.

Should you pass on journaling?

Should you pass on the journaling trend?

You have trouble focusing

Journaling may seem frustrating if you have trouble focusing on one task for an extended period. The act of writing can be very calming and therapeutic, but it requires a certain level of focus and concentration. If your mind wanders to everything you have to do, you may find it challenging to stay on track while journaling.

Tip to overcome this: If you have trouble focusing, try setting a timer and concentrating on writing for that time. Alternately, rotate how you journal. One day, focus on what you’re writing. The next day, let yourself freely write whatever comes to mind, whether or not it makes sense times list that grocery list, and discuss the meals you want to prepare and how it makes you feel when it is completed.

You are not comfortable with self-reflection.

Journaling involves self-reflection, learning to be open and honest with yourself, and getting to know yourself more deeply. It is like peeling back layers of an onion when we take the journey within.   If you're uncomfortable looking inward and examining your thoughts and feelings, you may find journaling an awkward experience.

Tips to overcome this: If you're uncomfortable with self-reflection, try journaling about topics other than yourself. You can write about current events, your favorite TV show, or anything else that interests you. Share your thoughts, opinions, and feelings on the topics and how the issues affect your life. The main goal is getting your thoughts off you and onto something else.

You are resistant to change.

If you resist change, journaling may be less effective than you wish. The act of journaling can be compelling and transformative, but it requires a willingness to reflect on your life and make changes. You may find journaling tedious if you're not ready to change your life.

Tips to overcome this: If you resist change, try journaling about your resistance. Why are you resistant to change? What are your fears?  Why do you decide to explore journaling in the first place? You may find exploring your resistance is not as impossible as you thought.

You are not comfortable with emotions.

Journaling can be emotionally intense if you’re truly honest with yourself when writing. If you're uncomfortable dealing with your emotions, journaling may be an uncomfortable experience when first starting.

Tips to overcome this: If you're uncomfortable with emotions, try writing about them detachedly. Don't judge your feelings. Just observe them. What do they feel like? What are they telling you? By monitoring your emotions without judgment, you may find that they're not as scary as you first thought.

Journaling is just one of the creative ways to improve yourself and your life. While it can be a struggle, and you may feel uncomfortable initially, the benefits can be rewarding if you’re in the right mindset and willing to do the work.  I tend to think of how journaling was a healing aid to many before me.  I started because of an art exhibit and wanted to leave a legacy for my family, so I began feverishly penning my life, and it turned into something more meaningful and healing for me.

If you try it and find it isn’t right for you, that’s perfectly okay. Use the best tools to overcome the roadblocks that limit your ability to live the life you want.  You can always connect with me, and I would be delighted to work one-on-one with you to help get you started.  Join the community to have the support you may need on your journey.