5 Benefits of Journaling
Keeping a regular journal can be a difficult habit to build, but one that is worth the effort. Journaling is a hugely helpful tool to have in your self-care kit and can be extremely low cost or free altogether. Whether you choose to type on your preferred device or write in a physical journal is really up to you. As is how often you choose to journal and at what time of day.
Keeping a journal can be extremely therapeutic because it gives you a safe outlet to process fears, worries, or insecurities. Your journal never has to be seen by anyone else so there’s no pressure to make it sound eloquent. It’s something just for you.
If you choose to do your journal writing at the end of the day, it can be a way to set things aside before bed, which can help you sleep better. Instead of laying in bed and running through tasks you know you need to complete or worrying over your work for the next day, you can put that energy into your journal and set it aside. A symbolic, but helpful, way of clearing your mind to help you sleep.
While journaling can be a great way to end the day and process stressful--or even traumatic--events, it can also be a way to set positive intentions. This can be especially helpful if you prefer to practice your journaling in the mornings.
You can use your journal as a place to track goals and set intentions for the day. These could be working toward larger goals or they could be small and simple things. Using your journal to stop and give thanks for the good things in your life lets you focus on the positive rather than dwelling on the negative.
Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
By writing about not just what happened during a day, but also how it made you feel, you’ll begin to get more in touch with your feelings. This lets you process your thoughts and emotions together and that can lead to a better understanding of why and when certain emotions are evoked. This can also help you better understand how actions may influence emotions of those around you in ways you hadn’t previously considered.
Boost Your Memory
Writing information down--particularly when you write by hand--is proven to help your brain encode information and increase your retention. This is why you’re encouraged to take notes in school. Rather than letting information flow in one ear and out the other, you’re actually processing what’s important and writing it down. It also adds a physical component that further reinforces your processing, which is why writing by hand is better for your memory than typing.
Improve Your Communication Skills
Even though your journal is something that typically won’t be seen by others, it does force you to put your thoughts and feelings into words. Just as you would practice any other skill, the more you write the better you will become at writing, and communicating in general.
The five benefits we’ve included here are just a few of the benefits of keeping a regular journal. It can be a meditative practice that will improve your mental and emotional well-being. Some believe that benefits can even extend to better physical healing! So what are you waiting for? Pick up a pen and paper and start journaling!