Most of you who have been following me know that I am a HUGE fan of journaling. I’ve been journaling daily for 2 years consistently, and it has made profound changes in my life. I have gotten through hard times and found solutions simply by putting my thoughts on paper.
There are studies showing that regular journaling strengthens immune cells called T-lymphocytes. If you have mastered the art of delayed gratification, you know that magical things can happen if you are patient, and put in the work. Just like with anything, you need to journal consistently to experience its compounding positive effects. You may not notice the benefits initially but after several weeks, you will.
You use different parts of your brain when you speak versus when you write. The art of expressive writing accesses the left hemisphere of the brain which is analytical and rational. As your left brain is preoccupied, your right brain is free from mental blocks, and clear from worries— allowing creativity and intuition, resulting in greater insight, and understanding of ourselves.
You can talk about your trauma or experiences over and over, but if nothing is being done to change your state of being then you are not growing. Journaling helps you explore those incidents deeper so you can come to an understanding or a solution.
How to Begin Journaling:
- There are different methods of journaling such as bullet journaling, writing your thoughts freely without stopping (stopping blocks creativity), using prompts, etc. Find the one that is right for you.
- Write about what feels right in that moment. There are NO rules.
- Provide an opportunity for positive self-talk.
- Try to identify negative thoughts, behaviors, and patterns.
- Write down your gratitudes everyday.
- You can find journal prompts online.
- Try journaling in the morning and at night. Do you feel a difference?
- Reframe journaling as self-care / down time / time for yourself / time to de-stress.
- Keep it easy. If you think journaling is complicated, you are only doing it to yourself.
- Be consistent.
Why You Need to Start Journaling Today:
Journaling helps you observe your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours from an objective point of view. Writing your thoughts down physically on paper helps you explore your inner world and understand how your bringing, past experiences affect who you are today. By writing, you put structure and organization to your feelings which gives you a better idea of who you are, and why you are feeling the way you feel.
Journaling helps you gain acceptance of yourself, and your journey. When you train your mind to recognize and be accountable for your own flaws, you will understand yourself because you learn to understand where they came from.
Journaling helps you become more mindful and intentional about how you live your life. It will help you prioritize what is important in your life, and people or things you may need to let go of.
The act of recalling moments will strengthen your memory. In my journal, I have a spot to write down ‘what I ate today’ which isn’t really relevant to me however it helps rewire my neurons to remember. Some days I will miss a few days of journaling but I always get to them at some point so having to recall what I ate 3 days prior definitely strengthens my memory.
When you transfer thoughts from your mind to paper, journaling helps you to remove mental clutter. The art of venting on paper also decreases the intensity of emotions you may have, resulting in your emotions being more elaborate, and increasing understanding of self. This clears up your mind, allowing solutions and clarity to flow in.
When you journal, you are focusing on that task at hand allowing you to be completely present in the moment. When you are present, you are relaxed because you are not worried about any other problems you may have.
Studies have shown that the simple act of writing down what you were grateful for during that day reduces stress, increases happiness + mood + satisfaction to life, promotes better physical health, lowers inflammation and increases your resilience. Gratitude disconnects us from negative, toxic emotions, and ruminating. A grateful brain simply is more in tune with experiencing, and looking at the ‘bright side of things.’
Writing your thoughts down will usually lead to further insights. When you realize these new thoughts, it encourages the connectivity of new neurons in your brain, and that is what drives creativity and innovation.
You gather insights about yourself as you continue to explore deeper into your inner world which turns into valuable lessons and priceless wisdom.
Taking time to write things down will force you to be honest with yourself, thus being able to get to the root of the problems. Writing things out gives you the accurate perspective necessary to attract the right solutions.
When you transfer thoughts from your mind to paper, it makes them physically real allowing your brain will finally be able to comprehend it— this is basically another visualization technique but instead of visuals, your thoughts become words. This will promote clarity, and help you begin planning your way to your goal.
Journaling helps you grow and transform as you learn more about yourself, and the world around you.