Many of you must think that journaling is outdated. It is so much easier to jot down notes on your iPhone or laptop. And it is easier! But there are many hidden benefits to journaling. Often times I'll type the notes into my iPhone first so I don't forget, and then transfer the longer message into my journal.
Many artists, writers, influential personalities and world leaders all have the habits of keeping a journal. These top leaders meticulously maintain a detailed account of their thoughts, feelings or just day to day.
Here are 5 reasons why it is good for us to keep a journal:
Writing helps declutter your thoughts and can help you properly organize them together. Remember in English class as a child, your teacher would tell you to jot down bullet points and body paragraph structure to write out your paper? It's because our brain processes too much information. And also we live in an information overload world now with technology. This method allows your brain to focus on the topic you need at the moment and free up some mental space to think more clearly.
Writing about your thoughts and feelings freely really puts things into perspective when you look at it rather than just trying to process everything in your head. It also improves focus and improves your creativity. We have another section about creative journaling tips to capture your best thoughts and ideas if you would like to learn more.
Journaling can help track your growth, whether it's personal, work, or spiritually. Psychologically when you physically jot down something and refer to it time to time, it ingrains into your mind much faster than typing it out. Think about when you're texting a friend and having a conversation. It's so much easier to do, but also so much easier to forget. Writing takes more effort, which allows your brain to really process.
And as you regularly write down these emotions or experiences, it builds up the good habits as well a great reference to look back and assess your goals. Are you on track? What has changed now, a month or a year ago? Do you see any behavioral patterns? Maybe there is negativity in your life you need to avoid? Or maybe life is great, and you have all these achievements, positive growth that can elevate your mood and self-esteem even more.
Learn about yourself through journaling and figure out what is the best version of yourself.
As mentioned earlier, writing in your journal can help declutter your mind, free up mental space to tackle the problems required. Also, listing out the problems, allows your brain to process clearly each issue you need to overcome. Regular journaling engages the creative side of the brain to help think of clever solutions to your problem. In the Journal of Experimental Psychology's research, they talked about how expressive writing reduces intrusive thoughts about negative events and improves working memory.
There have been several studies on how journaling can help people cope with stress and anxiety.
A study from the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment is a great experiment and summary of how counselors, social workers, and therapists often use writing exercises to help patients deal with traumatic, stressful or emotional events. It's as simple as 15~20 minutes on 3 ~ 5 occasions was enough to help these patients.
In fact, this practice is so regarded that there's a Center for Journal Therapy dedicated to the mental health benefits of regular journaling, both in therapeutic and personal settings.
In short, it's about how you write, about how you tell your personal story.
This is your personal safe haven to be completely yourself! Have fun! Show your true personality. Most of us suppress a little of who we are because of societal norms. We are trained to be "responsible" to be an "adult", but does that make us happy? Writing your thoughts, your feelings, who you are in your notebook is safe. It is only for your eyes to see. Discover who you really are! Pour your heart out, then go back and read what kind of person you are. It's important to learn about yourself. You can listen to friends and family about what you need to do, who you need to be. But only you know what true happiness is for you.
What do you think? Are you ready to finally start a journal?
First is to pick out a proper notebook to start your journal entry. You need to find a notebook that will motivate you to want to write in it daily. Are you driven by the design of the notebook? Novelty? Type of paper is used? That is something you need to decide.
Next step is to build up those good habits of writing. Start with 10 minutes every day of simple writing. No one is reading this but you, so just start write down whatever comes to mind!
Lastly, find a time in the day you know you are free and can consistently allow 10 minutes every day to write in your new notebook journal.
Good luck on your journey, and hope this helps you find or write your way to happiness!
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