For some of us, the word journaling comes to mind, and we picture a young school girl writing “Dear diary” about her latest boy crush in her pretty pink journal. For others, they may see journaling as simply a pragmatic tool with a means to an end.
Science continues to prove us otherwise, with an array of surprising benefits which come from the exercise of journaling.
Let’s take a look at what some of these benefits are, shall we?
Obvious or not, there is a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness.
Journaling brings this connection to life, taking you to a state of mindfulness by requiring you to focus your mind on and actively engage with your current thoughts and feelings.
Journaling often surrounds your hopes and dreams and this helps with your life goals.
Writing goals signals to your brain “This is important”, which helps flag relevant tools, plans and opportunities to help you achieve such goals.
Whether it’s in the morning or evening, or both, setting time aside to write in your journal, is an act of self-discipline. And any act of discipline creates more discipline.
What’s more, habits formed in one area of your life tend to spread, creating more healthy habits and discipline within other aspects of your life.
Extra Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence… The ability to perceive and manage your emotions and that of others.
Journaling is a brilliant outlet for processing your emotions and increasing your self-awareness. Not only does this help you to control your emotions, it will help you understand the emotions of others too, allowing for deeper connections with loved ones – and who doesn’t want that?
Highway to Healing
Writing truly is a highway to healing. Whether that be emotionally, physically, psychologically, or all of the above.
Dr. James Pennebaker, author of Writing to Heal has seen improved immune function in participants of writing exercises. Stress often comes from emotional blockages, and overthinking hypotheticals. “When we translate an experience into language, we essentially make the experience graspable. And in doing so, you free yourself from mentally being tangled in traumas.” He explains.
Have you ever read an old journal and felt really good about something in it? This isn’t surprising and is more common than you think.
Reflections from your journal become a great archive of personal achievements that you can continue to go back to forever more, helping you feel more confident and often relieve feelings of fear and self-doubt.
Journaling about positive experiences also allows your brain to relive them, releasing endorphins and dopamine, therefore boosting your mood.
As you work to incorporate journaling into your life, remember that patience and consistency are key! Begin writing a couple of days per week, first thing in the morning or just before bedtime and increase slowly from there.
Remember to look at your journaling time as ‘you time’ and try taking that time in a relaxing setting, with perhaps even a cup of herbal tea.
The most important rule of journaling? There are none.
Want a little bit of extra help implementing journaling into your life and staying on track?
Accountability + Empowerment = High Performance and Conrad can help. Get in touch with him today to find how.