I want to talk to you about how to use journaling as a tool to improve your emotional intelligence. Most people see journaling as record keeping. All you do is write down your day, exactly as it happened; that’s it! But journaling is so much more than that, and if used correctly can be life changing!
Journals are used to:
- Reduce Anxiety
- Help with Brooding
- Create Self-awareness
- Encourage Opening Up
- Speed Up Physical and Mental Healing
- Manifest Goals and Dreams
- Relieve Stress
- Create Healthy Habits
There it is! Our focus for today! Emotional intelligence! I plan to write about the other ways journals are used (yes there are lots!) and recommend a few in later blog posts, but for now, let’s focus on our emotional intelligence!
How Journaling Boosts Emotional Intelligence
Journaling is a fantastic tool for boosting your mental health and emotional intelligence. It’s a simple but effective technique to control your thoughts and feelings as you go about your day, and it’s not a new concept.
Journaling can help you achieve clarity, solve problems, and cope with difficult situations. However, many individuals are unaware of the numerous advantages of journaling and how it may be transformative. So, let’s speak about emotional intelligence and journaling.
But first, let’s get these difficult terms out of the way. What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions (Cherry, 2020).
So basically how you respond to situations you encounter every day. Whether at work, with a spouse, your children, friends, family, or even pets. You name it. Those interactions all reflect our ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions.
Once we understand what the phrase means, we can then start to identify tools that will help us develop the ability to perceive, control and evaluate our emotions. Take time to think about it. What are events that evoke the strongest emotions in your life?
When you reflect on those moments, did you respond the way you wanted to, or do you wish you had handled things a little bit differently? All those events were a form of conflict, which required resolution.
A journal that helps you overcome this emotional roadblock is a conflict-resolution journal. This type of journal creates the habit of finding a peaceful resolution to conflicts that arise in our lives.
And I’m not just talking about situations that make you angry. Maybe you’re the type to let people run all over you, and you wish you could stand up for yourself more. Maybe you are quick to get frustrated, causing the conversation to just shut down completely, and you wish you could express yourself better.
Or, maybe you just want to perfect your conflict-resolution skills so you stand out above the rest in your workplace. Yes, believe it or not, conflict resolution journals exist, and I use one myself!
Personal Note: Journaling and Emotional Intelligence
I am a mother of 2 with a spouse, working 2 demanding jobs, holding down the “rock” position in my family, and blogging on the side. So! I go through a myriad of emotions daily! Sometimes by the hour! And I’m sure many of you reading this post identify with that!
I not only want to deal with the angry moments appropriately, but I want to handle those sensitive moments with care. I want to be able to be soft or tough while remaining in control of and protecting my emotions. For that, I use a conflict-resolution journal.
I consider conflict resolution journals to be an “expressive” writing tool. I have a big personality and am every bit as sassy as I am loving. So, a journal that lets me scream or cry it out works best for me. Specifically, I use “But first, Let’s Cuss Them Out!”.
Importance of Journaling for Emotional Intelligence
According to Ackerman (2018), overall, journaling/expressive writing has been found to:
- Boost your mood/affect;
- Enhance your sense of well-being;
- Reduce symptoms of depression before an important event (like an exam);
- Reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma;
- Improve your working memory.
In particular, journaling can be especially helpful for those with PTSD or a history of trauma. When I looked for a journal I wanted one that I could resonate with, is easy to use, and guided my writing experience. I also wanted something out of the ordinary, that couldn’t be easily identified if I was out in public using it to calm my nerves. I recommend “But first, Let’s Cuss Them Out!”.
The first element that caught my attention was the cover. Next, the writing process the author created. Last, I wanted a journal with a hardcover option. Since my kids can get rowdy. I highly recommend this journal! A link to each cover style is below:
What do you all use? If you use “But first, Let’s Cuss Them Out!”, how do you like it? Any other recommendations of conflict-resolution journals!?