Published:  12:16 AM, 31 August 2018

The benefits of journal writing

The benefits of journal writing

Alethea Robinson

Consistently journaling can be an act of self-care. But if you're looking for more reasons to pick up a notebook, here are some benefits of journal writing. Writing can be so powerful. 

It forces you to crystallize your thoughts into written content, while simultaneously forcing you to think deeper into the topic that is important to you. Consistently journaling can be an act of self-care. But if you're looking for more reasons to pick up a pen and notebook, here are some benefits of journal writing.

Self-Reflection

According to science, 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 create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. 

It's a huge confidence boost to reflect on your challenges and how much you've overcome. It's not just seeing your progress, but seeing that you are progressing, that makes you feel like you can take on whatever obstacles come your way.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as 'the ability to recognize one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.' 

Being able to identify your emotions and process them in a safe and productive way is a very helpful skill to hone. Recognizing patterns in your journaling can help you to recognize what makes you feel certain ways, and gives you the time to reflect.

Mindfulness

There's a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness. Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness. Past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment. 

Journaling can help you be more mindful by making you stop and think about day-to-day events and how you feel about them. It's much easier to be in the moment when you're writing.

Planning

Journaling about your dreams and ambitions signals to your brain that they are important. When your brain deems something important, it seeks out supportive resources and relevant opportunities to achieve that goal. Bullet journaling has become super popular. 

It's used to map ideas, keep track of goals, save lists, and stay organized. Some swear by this journaling technique, so if traditional journaling isn't for you, bullet journaling may fit your lifestyle just right.

Creativity

The creative benefits of journal writing are also well documented. You've likely heard that the best way to get better at writing is to just keep writing. That's true, but the benefits go deeper than just crafting better sentences.

Regular writing can help you learn to process and communicate complex ideas effectively. It can also help you memorize important information and brainstorm new ideas. In other words, writing about your experiences not only helps you process them, it helps you see opportunities that may not have been apparent at first glance.

Reducing Stress

Journal writing can be incredibly therapeutic, especially if you don't have anyone to talk to. There's no better way to work through tough problems and clear your head. Stress often comes from emotional blockages and overthinking hypothetical scenarios. When we translate an experience into language we're better able to grasp the experience. 

Studies have also shown that the emotional release from journaling lowers anxiety, stress, and induces better sleep. Thy joy of journal writing is that it can help you make sense of the big things and help you to savour the little. The main thing is you're writing for yourself rather than an audience. This can be tremendously liberating and deeply satisfying.


The writer is a freelance content writer & blogger

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