Are you feeling overwhelmed by complicated or confusing emotions? In order to increase your self-awareness and gain an understanding of why it is you feel the way you do, or react in certain ways, journaling could be the answer for you. Through journaling, you can expand self-awareness by identifying and expressing your feelings in writing.

The process of writing down your feelings and what is going on in your mind is not only a very cathartic exercise, it also allows you to get a grip on emotions. Self-awareness begins with identifying and learning to deal with your feelings in appropriate ways in order to determine why it is that you do what you do.

Journal writing helps to expand your self-awareness in these four ways:

1.) Journaling increases your insight into a situation. Writing about a situation will help you to put it into perspective after the event has taken place. This allows you to process the emotions you experienced because of the event and notice details you may have overlooked when it was taking place.

* It is important to be able to focus on what it is you are journaling about. Make sure you can set aside some time where you will be undisturbed in a space that is quiet.

2.) Journaling allows you to reflect on your feelings. As you go through the day, there isn’t time to step back and analyze every situation that is taking place. Once you begin the process of journaling, you will have the time to look back and identify feelings about an occurrence and consider why you felt that way.

* When you put a label to what it is you are feeling it provides you with a better understanding of how to react during certain situations.

* Make it a point to use words that describe feelings when you are pinpointing your emotions. Words such as “angry”, “disappointed”, “aggravated”, and “thrilled” are all good examples.

* If you are feeling stuck, follow this simple sentence structure to help prompt your writing: “When __________ happened, I felt _____________.”

3.) Journaling helps to shed light on why it is you felt a certain way. You will find that when you write about your feelings and discover the reasoning behind the way you felt, it can make you aware of when your negative feelings creep up and help you to change them in the future.

* Becoming more self-aware is about understanding why it is you responded a certain way and provides an opportunity for you to change that reaction in future situations.

* While journaling, take the time to ponder the reasons behind why you responded the way you did, or why you felt a certain way. Is there something that happened in your past that triggers this reaction?

4.) Regularly reviewing previous journal entries helps you see your progress. Usually there is a pattern behind the way we act. Certain situations give rise to an emotional response and journaling helps to document these patterns and bring them to light.

* Once you see an unhealthy pattern in your responses you can commit to making a change to more healthy and positive reactions.

* Make sure to notice and celebrate your progress as you move towards increasing your self-awareness.

It’s not unusual to experience confusion and lack of understanding in the way you respond or behave from time to time. Journaling can help to improve your insight into these times, and provide a tool for reflection to change your response in future situations.

Author's Bio: 

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