Keeping a journal can create a space where you can vent your stresses and worries but without having to actually tell anybody but yourself. There is a lot of research about the mental and emotional benefits that journaling has, that counsellors, social workers, psychologists and therapists encourage their clients to do it. We think it is a super important and very special habit to form so that’s why we have put together our top 5 benefits of writing a journal …
1. Strengthens your self discipline
Setting some time out of your day to write in a journal is an act of discipline. Just like muscle memory, the more you practice it, the stronger it becomes and the more it remembers to practice it’s strength. Good habits are contagious and can spread into other areas of your life. You know the saying, a messy room a messy mind, an organised room an organised mind. It’s similar with your discipline of writing a journal. If you stick to this then the effects will follow through into other health habits in your life.
2. Achieving goals
Putting your goals on paper really will help you achieve them. When they are out of your head and written down they are brought to life and when you read back and reflect (we will talk about this a little later) it will keep you eager to work hard to achieve them. Journaling can often include your dreams and ambitions and when written down your brain understands it as important. Your reticular activating system (RAS) then flies the flag and gives you opportunities and tools to achieve this. Oh, and remember, make sure that your goals are ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
3. Allows you to practice mindfulness
Mindfulness – it isn’t a popular topic for no reason. It’s great to hear and see that so many of you are now practicing and implementing it into your daily lives. Journaling brings you into a intimate space with yourself, a place to feel and reflect and where past and future experiences lose their edge. The time spent writing a journal allows your mind to really tune in and send your attention inwards.
Studies have shown that journaling allows for emotional release, lowers anxiety, stress and induces better sleep. Improved immune function has been seen a s result of writing exercises. Emotional blockages can often be the root to stress however when an experience or memory is written about it becomes something a little easier to understand and manage. This form of expression allows you to remove the trauma from within you and feel free, a space for you to let go.
We have all experienced self-doubt, disbelief or a lack of confidence at some point in our lives. However, keeping a journal where you write about a positive experience allows you to actually relive that moment or that day. It reminds you of your abilities and releases endorphins that will boost your self-esteem, pick up your mood and give you a wonderful whack of confidence. Having these experiences and reflections written on paper are a lovely reminder of your personal achievements. Make sure you write down even the smallest of achievements as these will be the ones that you forget in time. Reading a bunch of these back will really allow your confidence to grow and keep that self-doubt buried into the ground.
Patience, practice and consistency are such an important part in forming new habits. Begin setting yourself a practical goal of writing perhaps two or three days a week, first thing in the morning or just before you go to sleep. Eventually this will become second nature and you will progress into writing in it much more.
Happy journalling x