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  • March 28, 2023 4 min read

    While a lot of topics that revolve around minimalism are centered around living less in terms of material possessions, there are other ways we can simplify the lives we lead. More and more over the years, many of us have discovered the power of a clutter-free life—whether we’re talking about the things that we own, or our mental and emotional states. We’ve learned to put value in what matters, ourselves, which is why in today’s post, we look at five different ways journaling can help us live a simpler, more minimalist life.

     

    But first, why should we aim for a much simpler life?

    Aside from a meta-analysis revealing there’s a correlation between materialism and poor physical health, a simple life can also make us happier. From knowing more about ourselves to leading a life with far less stress, there’s so much to be reaped in a life abundant with only the things that are truly important.

     

    1. It can help us figure out what’s most important to us.

    Part of a simple life is sticking only with the essentials. Journaling is a great way to find out what those are. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you explore many things, including your values, beliefs, and priorities. Knowing these things and reflecting on them will allow you to look at the type of lifestyle you have: is it aligned with what you value and believe in? Is it important? Through journaling, we can let go of what doesn’t matter and focus only on what does.

     

    2. It promotes gratitude which leads to contentment.

    We’ve written about the many benefits of gratitude in this post and we stand by it! There’s proof that cultivating a sense of gratitude can lead to a more positive mindset that lets us appreciate what we do have. It’s an incredible shift from focusing on what we don’t, that’s for sure! With this kind of thinking, we can become happier and more content with our lives. We’re also less tempted to give value to material possessions or experiences that don’t really make us happy.

    A great way to start being more grateful about the things in life is through a gratitude journal. Find time each day to list down a few things to remind yourself of how awesome life truly is despite it all.

     

    3. It gives us a new lens to look through so we can understand ourselves better.

    What often makes it difficult for us to process and understand our emotions or thoughts is how close we are to them. However, journaling about them can provide a certain distance so we can look at the things that we think and feel from different perspectives. This promotes mental clarity: the new angle that we create by writing unfiltered in our journal allows us to understand ourselves better.

    For this to be effective, it’s important to write for yourself. Write freely and with no audience in mind. Your journal isn’t for anyone else but you and whatever personal reasons you've decided to keep one.

     

    4. It encourages self-reflection and growth.

    By regularly writing down your thoughts and experiences, journaling gives you a means to identify patterns of behavior that can help you become a better version of yourself. It can be through your previous journal entries or the one you’re just about to write.

    Every bit of it can provide meaningful insight into who you are.

    Are you trying to be better at something? Have you listed down new goals? Your journal is invaluable with information about you. It’s the best place to sneak a peek into what you’re like, your habits and your routines, so you can figure out where to make changes and which ones. This allows you to grow, and in turn, growth will allow you to lead a more fulfilling life.

     

    5. It helps with self-expression and allows us to be creative.

    Since journaling allows us free reign on how to express ourselves, it’s a great space to explore your creative side! Whether it’s in the form of writing prompts, drawing, adding photos or other mementos in your journal, you have unlimited options to dig into the different aspects of yourself and your life. You can make it as simple or fun as you like.

    Creative practices ease stress and allow us to relax as well, and because there is no judgment when we journal for ourselves, the act can become therapeutic. There's no pressure to come up with something beautiful—instead, our output only needs to be honest and heartfelt.

     

    Journaling narrows down life to the bits and pieces that are important.

    By keeping a journal, we can shift our focus on the essentials that can make our life meaningful and worth living. In this way, we can feel happier and become more content even in the absence of worldly things because we have a means to free our minds and hearts of unneeded clutter.

    How else has journaling simplified your life? What mental and emotional clutter were you able to get rid of since you began keeping a journal? Let us know in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!

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