I’ll let you in on a well-kept secret: A pen coupled with paper can serve as a mighty life tool.
Journaling is an ancient tradition that has increasing evidence to support the positive impact on our mental health, social and psychological wellbeing.
Leading psychologists and researchers affirm that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, reduces anxiety and stress levels, thus acting as a management tool to reduce the impact on your physical health.
I know what you’re thinking: “So writing a few sentences a day may keep me healthier longer, but why should I bother journaling when I am already juggling so many things?”
These facts will convince you:
The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to be creative. This removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others, and the world around you.
Clarify your thoughts and feelings
Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
Feel more positive
Expressive writing is not just a tool for expressing challenges. There is value in expressing your positive thoughts and experiences on paper too.
Writing about anger, sadness, and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings. This will make you feel calmer and better able to stay in the present. Writing down what you can and cannot control in any context or situation helps to put things into perspective, organize your thoughts, and agree on clear goals and boundaries.
Solve problems more effectively
Typically, we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities and allows unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. When you consider what prevents you from reaching your goals, often we discover it is our inner conflict telling us what we should be better at or do more. Write down what you hear your inner critic say, then decide which voices are helpful to bring awareness and alignment.
Resolve disagreements with others
Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. Then you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict. Make a note of how you might be judging the situation and what you might be assuming. One quote that springs to mind from Stephen R. Covey the Author of the 7 Habits, quotes” You judge others by their actions and judge yourself by your intentions”.
In addition to all these wonderful benefits, keeping a journal allows you to track patterns, trends and improvement, and growth over time. When current circumstances appear insurmountable, you will be able to look back on previous dilemmas that you have since resolved.
Through your writing, you’ll discover that your journal is an all-accepting, non-judgmental friend. And she may provide the cheapest therapy you will ever get. Best of luck on your journaling journey!