8 Life Changing Benefits of Journaling
Indeed, there are great benefits to journaling!
According to Catharine Cox Miles, a psychologist known
for her work on intelligence and the habits of geniuses, all 300
geniuses she studied (including Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci
and Copernicus) were avid journal keepers.
In contrast, for many of us, the concept of keeping a journal
conjures up images of documenting our high school crushes, dubious
triumphs, and inconsequential events which we never expected to
take seriously or deem valuable.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us with science
intervening and alleviating of our skepticism. Here are 8 life
changing benefits of journaling:
The Benefits of Journaling
1. Improves Communication Skills
Putting your thoughts to paper forces you to articulate your ideas
and, in turn, find words that express those ideas accurately and
concisely. The more you journal/write, the better you get at it and
the more your communication skills
2. Boosts Memory and Clarity
When you write down your experiences, thoughts and thought processes
in the form of journaling, it gives permanence to those thoughts
and, in turn, triggers memories of the past, of various events and
even the feelings and emotions
Clarity also gets a boost when you write down what takes place in
your life. If you are confused or unsure about a situation jotting
down your thoughts and emotions brings focus and attention to the
issue. Journaling helps illuminate an issue and further prevents
it from fleeing your awareness.
3. Helps achieve goals
Writing down your goals
and reviewing what you've written
daily, helps remind you what's
and what you must do to achieve those goals.
Furthermore, the written reminder prompts action and keeps you
4. Sparks Creativity
The act of writing itself stimulates the imagination. When you
formulate or express ideas on paper it automatically releases your
proverbial creative juices. Writing regularly helps you learn to
process and communicate complex information while at the same time
allowing you to come up with and brainstorm new ideas.
5. Helps Reduce Stress
Research has shown that journaling effectively helps reduce stress
(Article: How Psychotherapy and Journaling Help
fact, both physical and emotional benefits are experienced by those
who journal. Writing down your feelings is cleansing, illuminating
Journaling is cleansing because it helps you sort out your thoughts
and emotions; illuminating because it brings your findings to light
and liberating because it releases negative pent up feelings and
emotions. Expressing yourself in a journal is a healthy way to
release the tension and stress you otherwise may be internalizing.
6. Increases Self-Awareness
When you journal on a regular basis you learn what works for you.
You learn what makes you happy, sad, confident, insecure; and that
which is crucial for your overall well-being. The process of writing
down your thoughts and feelings allows for insight into a situation
and how to potentially handle it. Equally, journaling broadens your
by allowing you to read what you’ve written and in turn, look at
with fresh eyes.
7. Improves Problem Solving Skills
Along with all of the above great benefits, keeping a journal
improves your problem solving skills
and advances overall personal development
. When you write about a
particular problem you remove it from the abstract (your mind) and
place it onto the concrete (your journal). This act itself can be
empowering and brainstorm inducing. When an issue is right in front
of you, you are able to deal with it more effectively and more
objectively while feeling less encumbered. Putting a problem on
paper engages a creative process that generates more potential
solutions for resolving problems.
8. Helps You Plan and Stay Organized
Journaling is a great way to plan and stay organized.When you
routinely take the time to plan, prioritize and then implement your
tasks by writing them out, it much improves your overall efficiency
and productivity. Journaling not only keeps you physically
organized, it keeps your thoughts and ideas organized and coherent.
Overall journaling, or keeping a journal, is a great way to build better habits and focus your thoughts
and energies, while providing a cathartic release for emotions and
As Judy Willis MD, a neurologist specializing
in brain research regarding learning suggests: "The practice of
writing can enhance the brain's intake, processing, retaining, and
retrieving of information… it promotes the brain's attentive focus
- boosts long-term memory, illuminates
patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when
well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of
the brain's highest cognition."
Tips on Keeping a Journal
✔ Find the right format for your journaling. Specifically, find what
works best for you - paper or electronic, fancy decorative paper, or
simple white lined paper; a laptop computer, or a notebook.
✔ Decide on what type of journal you would like to keep, a health
journal, a gratitude journal, an ideas journal, a diary type
journal, a power journal (for successes, ambitions, inspiration).
Perhaps you would like to keep several different journals.
✔ Find a comfortable, reasonably quiet area where you can journal
without being disturbed. If you are constantly being interrupted
your ideas won’t flow freely and your thoughts will be stifled.
✔ Find sources of inspiration. Reflect upon qualities you admire in
your favorite athletes, writers, musicians, or artists.
✔ Consider bullet journaling. It can be fun and creative while
keeping you organized. You may not always have the time to elaborate
on your thoughts or write long sentences, so instead you can jot
down quick bulleted notes.
✔ Make it a habit. Strive to spend at least 30 minutes each day
contributing to your journal. The more you write, the better you
will become at illuminating, clarifying and expressing what is
Quotes on Journaling
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