How Journaling Changed My Life: A Note From Hallie Olsen

Hello and Happy New Year, readers of The Report! My name is Hallie Olsen, and I’m the PR and Partnership Coordinator here at Hush & Hush. To kick off 2024, I’m taking over the blog today to tell you all about my recent experience with journaling. As the title says, I’m starting to feel like it has changed my life. And I think it could change yours, too. 

Everyone from mental health experts to avid writers have espoused the benefits of journaling. This introspective activity can be a way to calm the mind, work through problems and decisions, process emotions, and more. But many of us have tried and failed to make journaling a part of our routines. For some, it feels like there is no time to devote to journaling. Others find it tedious. Listen … I've been there too! 

But I’m also someone who is very passionate about my health and overall well-being (yes, working for such a wellness-conscious brand is a dream come true!). Because of this, I felt driven to give it another try, and I decided to take a fresh approach. Enter, The Five-Minute Journal. From bestselling authors to TikTok influencers, this little book has received some great press. I’m here to give it some more! Here’s how journaling with this type of method in mind has changed my life. 

Gratitude Abounds

Even if I weren’t taking specific note of what I’m grateful for, journaling reminds me of those things. In the process of jotting down my thoughts and feelings, I often reach conclusions that involve how thankful I am for the good things and people in my life. 

Practicing gratitude has been linked to happiness, and I do feel that journaling my thankfulness has been a mood-booster for me. 

Appreciating the Little Things 

This isn’t to say that I never did this before journaling. I’ve always tried to incorporate a “stop and smell the roses” approach into my life where possible. But journaling definitely encourages and extends this. 

By exploring what might make my day great and logging the highlights before bed, I’ve found that sometimes the most impactful positives are such tiny moments. When you realize that one of your favorite occurrences in a day was a delicious latte with some cool art or a delightful conversation with the barista, you start to internalize the value of the “little things” in a deeper way. I believe this also supports continued gratitude! 

Pattern Recognition Helped Me to Engage in Self-Improvement

No matter how in tune with ourselves and our behaviors we think we are, it is difficult to get the big picture without talking it through or logging it somewhere.  

Alongside all of the other benefits, I’ve felt like my journaling journey has enabled me to see patterns behind repetitive habits and/or a self-sabotaging mindset. It has given me an opportunity to identify where I might be repeating history without realizing it. The value here is immense, because sometimes the solution is quite simple—I just needed to be able to see the issue clearly, and journaling made that possible.  

My Productivity Increased

By being intentional about focusing on the things that would make each day amazing from the get-go, I have discovered greater productivity! When you really think about what you want out of the day, it is easier to make it happen because it’s top of mind. 

Additionally, journaling has increased my productivity simply because it demands of me a motivated start. First thing in the morning, I have something I need to do. It gives me a purpose immediately upon waking, which helps to set a tone of momentum for the rest of the day. This is a well-documented correlation, in fact! There is a reason everyone is always telling you to make your bed first thing. 

Honestly, I often feel pretty accomplished when I’ve completed my a.m. journaling! It motivates me to keep moving. 

The Act of Checking in Connected Me to Myself

You’ve probably noticed a theme throughout this blog post thus far: reflecting on my day, at the beginning and the end, created greater awareness—self-awareness. You’ll be surprised by the things you learn about yourself when you take time, every day, to be introspective. 

This aspect of journaling has been so rewarding for me. Not only am I discovering areas I can work on. I’m also feeling generally more in tune with myself, which results in a sense of grounding. It has been so wonderful! 

So, what habit should you try to pick up in the new year? If you ask me, journaling is the answer!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my journey to journaling. If you decide to bring this method of reflection into 2024, I wish a fruitful start for you. 

Happy journaling! 

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