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“Curious Journaling: A Path to Self-Discovery and Wellness”

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. 5 min read

Maintaining the demands of work, life and relationships is a continuous hustle, and striving to strike a balance is a common goal that most of us are trying to achieve. We wake up to find ourselves in the middle of to-do lists that never seem to end- there’s always something to be done at home, there’s always a new deadline at work, and as we try our best to keep our head above water we lose track of the little moments in life. Doesn’t it make you curious to see what it would be like to slow down, savour each moment and see how the little things make a difference to the big picture? This blog post is for all those curious cats who dream of a world where everyone lives with kindness and intention. In this blog post we try to understand the nuances of our fast-paced world, and explore the transformative power of mindfulness. 

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Whether it’s the hustle for career progression, personal growth, or the pursuit of meaningful connections, our lives have become a continuous journey of adaptation and resilience. In this ceaseless hustle, we often overlook the incredible potential for self-discovery and personal growth that lies within us, because who has time for all that in the middle of bills and impending crises, correct? Imagine if there were a simple yet powerful tool that could make this easier for you, and help you unlock the doors to your inner thoughts, feelings, and aspirations – a tool that could help you understand your mind so that you could guide yourself through the complexities of life. Say no more, because we’re here to introduce you to curious journaling! 

What is journaling? 

Journaling is the practice of regularly writing down one’s thoughts, feelings, experiences, and reflections in a dedicated space, often referred to as a journal or diary. Journaling can be free-flowing where you note down your thoughts and feelings without trying to form a structure, but this works well for those who’re in the practice of slowing down and are aware of their feelings and thoughts. If you’re new to this you may want to try prompts or even specific types of journals like gratitude journals, dream journals or goal-setting journals. 

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Several scientific studies have explored the potential psychological and emotional benefits of journaling. While individual experiences may vary, the general findings show that journaling helps in emotional expression, stress reduction and promotes mindfulness. A study published in the journal “Advances in Psychiatric Treatment” found that expressive writing, including journaling, can help individuals process and come to terms with traumatic or stressful events.Research published in the “Journal of Experimental Psychology” suggests that expressive writing about stressful experiences can lead to improved stress management and reduced anxiety. A study in “Psychological Science” found that mindfulness meditation combined with expressive writing enhances self-awareness and promotes a non-judgmental acceptance of one’s thoughts and feelings. To add to this, research in “Behavior Therapy” suggests that writing about positive experiences and gratitude is associated with increased well-being and improved mood.

The act of journaling itself can be highly personal, and finding the right approach that resonates with your needs and preferences is key to maximising its positive impact.

What is curious journaling? 

Curious journaling is a term that refers to a specific approach to keeping a journal or diary with a focus on curiosity and self-exploration. It involves using writing as a tool for inquiry, self-discovery, and personal growth. Instead of merely documenting events, curious journaling encourages individuals to delve deeper into their thoughts, emotions, and experiences with an open and inquisitive mind. Here’s what you can expect:

>> Get more curious 

Curious journaling prompts individuals to approach their inner world with curiosity, and you’ll be asked a lot of questions!

>>Get comfortable with answers 

These questions that you will be asked may be broad or specific, aiming to uncover underlying motivations, desires, fears, and patterns of thinking or behaviour.  It goes beyond surface-level observations and seeks to uncover deeper layers of your identity, values, and aspirations.

>>Be open to a new POV

Curious journaling encourages individuals to explore different perspectives and viewpoints. This can involve examining situations from multiple angles and considering how one’s beliefs and perceptions shape their experiences.

>> Get comfortable with uncertainty

Curious journaling acknowledges that life is complex, and not everything has a clear answer. Embracing uncertainty becomes part of the process, and allows us to navigate ambiguity and learn from the journey itself.

>> Get creative 

Curious journaling can include writing poetry, sketching, or incorporating other forms of artistic expression to convey thoughts and emotions. Get comfortable with creative expression, and see how liberating it feels! 

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The power of curiosity : scientific data 

A lot of  studies support the idea that curiosity, in general, is associated with various positive outcomes for mental, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Research  published in the journal “Neuron” suggests that curiosity engages and strengthens the brain’s reward system, promoting the creation of new neural connections. A study in the journal “Neurobiology of Learning and Memory” found that individuals with higher levels of curiosity showed lower levels of anxiety and stress.  Curiosity has been associated with a greater willingness to embrace new information and engage in lifelong learning, as indicated in research published in “Psychological Science.” A study in the “Journal of Positive Psychology” found that engaging in curiosity-inducing activities was associated with increased positive emotions. Research published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” suggests that curiosity is linked to greater adaptability and problem-solving skills. A study in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology” found that curiosity was associated with higher levels of well-being and life satisfaction.

How to make curiosity work for you 

By adopting a curious mindset, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities, allowing your journal to become a canvas for introspection and growth.

>> The art of asking questions 

Curious journaling is not about merely documenting your day; it’s about asking yourself the right questions that help you understand your life better.  What are your passions? What fears hold you back? What dreams do you nurture?

>> Weathering the emotional storms 

Curious journaling serves as a compass, helping you navigate this intricate landscape of emotions. Through the act of putting pen to paper, you create a safe space to express and explore your emotions. This process helps you understand your thought process, and enables you to navigate life in a manner that suits you. 

>> Wellness and curiosity 

Wellness goes beyond physical health; it encompasses the harmonious integration of mind, body, and spirit. Curious journaling becomes your travel companion on this holistic journey. As you delve into your thoughts, aspirations, and challenges, you cultivate a deeper connection with yourself. This newfound self-awareness becomes the cornerstone of wellness, and enables you to make more mindful choices. 

How do you get started with curious journaling? 

Grab a notebook, find a quiet space, and let your pen dance across the pages. It really is as simple as that! The first few minutes may feel uncomfortable, but once you get into the flow you will see that it’s easy to block out the outside world. This is where the questions help- they make you stay focused and help your thoughts flow freely in a given direction. 

Are you ready to unleash the power of curiosity, and see all the magic that lies on the other side? For those who find themselves too distracted to start journaling immediately, how about some focus exercises that help you understand mindfulness? Download our app and explore the habit setting features that help you trick your mind into thinking that yes, you’ve got a hang of it all! We’ll help you stay focused, enable emotional regulation and ensure that you unlock the power of holistic wellness.

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