What Are the Benefits of Keeping a Journal?

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Keeping a journal, or a diary, has changed quite a bit since we spent our afternoons scribbling about the mean kids at school in a fuzzy notebook we could lock with a tiny metal key. 

Now journaling comes in all sorts of shapes and forms from video diaries on your phone camera to carefully cared for bullet journals. 

No matter what form it takes, though, journaling is making a comeback because of just how great it is for your mind and body. 

Not convinced? 

Here are just a few of the many benefits you can reap simply by keeping a journal. 

Journaling Strengthens Your Emotional Functions

When you think of writing to strengthen your mind health, this is probably the benefit you might think of first, right?

You may already know about how keeping a journal can evoke mindfulness, helping the writer remain in the present and stay in tune with their health by keeping a track of their present day to day journey. 

What you might not know is that journaling also can help you boost your confidence and learn about your own self-identity by serving as a place for you to track on how you grow and change over the course of your days, weeks and even years of your life. 

It’s a great way to keep accountability for yourself on which direction you want to go in life, as far as behaviors and goals are concerned.

Tracking yourself daily by journaling, is important as you are being the director of your day to day movie in real life. 

It’s all about how you would like to see your life as opposed to living just by default.

A journal visually supports you with a steady direction and will re-align you back on track in case you seem to drift off the path you really want to be on.

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It’s like your personal buddy that will show you all of your flaws as well as all of your successes, only if you allow yourself the full blown truth to be on paper?

All in all it can be your guiding compass, to eliminate what subconscious blocks you may put up for yourself and yet fine tune your positive behaviors in order to live your vision and goal in life.

Research shows that this kind of writing can help one to develop more structured and adaptive mindsets about themselves and the world around them. 

At the same time, journaling engages the creative side of your brain, which is especially good if you don’t have a lot of creative outlets in your work or outside lives. 

It’s like balancing the “yin- yang” for your mind body and soul.

Have fun with it; who says self improvement has to be boring? 

If you’re drawing a blank on what to write about, try one of the many interesting and insightful writing prompts that you can find at Best Daily Intention Journal In 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons.

A good one to start with is a simple “how are you feeling right now” and how can you change things in your life? 

Journaling Keeps Your Memory Sharp

When you sit down every day to record the recent events of your life, your memory actually gets a workout. 

When you practice your remembering skills every day, your brain gets the same benefits as if you were lifting weights on a daily basis to strengthen your arms. 

Not only do you boost your comprehension and recall abilities, regular journaling also increases your working memory capacity, which in turn will improve your cognitive processing skills. 

If you aren’t interested in working your memory muscle, your journal can serve as a record of your life that you can look back on later when you’re trying to remember what movie you saw with your friends a month back. It’s a win-win either way. 

Journaling Reduces Stress

No one likes to be stressed. 

Not only can an excess of stress damage your mental and emotional health, it’s proven to be harmful to your physical health as well. 

Journaling is a simple way to manage stress, which then takes care of every part of your personal health without taking too much time out of your schedule. 

Studies show that expressive writing, in our case journaling, for only 15 to 20 minutes 3 to 5 times a week is enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver function over the course of just 4 months.  

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In addition to these great physical benefits, you’ll also feel a lot better mentally when journaling regularly. 

Writing about the things in your life that stress you out or cause you anxiety helps you process them differently and you’ll learn to catch yourself when you start to blow things out of proportion. 

It will also show you what behaviors you may want to eliminate, behaviors that trigger you easily and cause you more chaos and which behaviors are more positive and give you more favorable outcomes in life.

It’s like showing you a map of what behavior gives you more happiness and what behavior needs working on that gives you more grief in life.

Look back at that paragraph you wrote last week about how you are so sure every person at your job hates you; now that you have a calm mind, it’s clear to see that’s not true, as it’s a matter of how YOU see things. 

Just imagine rewriting this in your journal and reframing it from a different perspective, would this change your mind about how you saw that situation unfold?

It’s important to know that your own perspective can either make you sad, bad, angry or happy?  Journaling can make you shift your perspective over time, so your fresh new positive perspective can make your happy more than sad or angry.

Journaling Improves Your Immune System

healthy

As strange as it sounds, your immune system can benefit from your new writing hobby. 

Studies show that journaling often offers physical benefits to people fighting terminal or life-threatening health issues such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, arthritis, and more. 

According to psychologist James Pennebaker, journaling strengthens immune cells called T-lymphocytes. (Writing to Heal)

This happens because writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, reducing the impact of stressors on your physical health. 

When your body doesn’t have to worry about things in your life that are stressing you out, it has more energy available to keep you healthy and help you heal. 

This has been reported to help people who have been wounded, seem to heal faster in some cases!

Journaling Helps You Sleep Better

How many times have you found yourself laying awake at night thinking about something that has been troubling you all day? 

Journaling can help you with that. (Journaling Before Bed Can Help Ward Off Sleeplessness)

Writing your thoughts and feelings before you go to bed is both a great way to process your worries before you turn in for the night and a fantastic way to wind down after a long day. 

Looking at a screen right before going to bed can keep you awake even after you’ve plugged it in for the night because the blue light used to illuminate your phone or tablet stimulates your mind and keeps you up. 

Taking a few minutes to journal gives your brain a break from your tech, letting it wind down for the night. 

Girl peacefully sleeping in bed at night

Also, after a week or two of journaling before bed, your brain will start to recognize the act of journaling as a signal that it’s almost time to call it a night, making it easier for your brain to get into a healthier sleep pattern. 

These are just a few of the many benefits of keeping a personal journal, so break out the pens and notebooks! 

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, one of those black and white composition notebooks will work just fine, unless you get stuck for what to write then you may want a prompt journal to guide you along. 

Just let your feelings flow and enjoy the journaling process. 

One of the best things about journaling at night, just before bed, is giving your mind a goal such as how you would like to see tomorrow unfold for you, you might be surprised it may come true?…………………..as you are tapping into the subconscious mind during your sleep.

https://www.apa.org/monitor/jun02/writing 

https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/sleep-disorders/journaling-before-bed-can-help-ward-off-sleeplessness#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20trouble%20falling,journaling%20can%20redirect%20your%20mind

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Our web pages and blog posts provide general information for general purposes only and not to be used for any medical, legal or alternative health advice for any type of physical, mental health or financial concerns.
Always speak to your practitioner before embarking on any new alternative treatments. If you have concerns about any medical matters, you should always consult your healthcare provider without delay.
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