Many of us may stroll through the aisle of Target or Anthropologie and grab a journal off the shelf because it looks cute, but how many of us actually open it up and use it? Probably for most of us, journaling is a lost art. Psychologists, scientists, and good ol’ honest everyday folk have spoken about the incredible health mental and emotional benefits of keeping a journal. Dust off that cute empty notebook on your shelf for these 5 noteworthy benefits you’ll gain from keeping a journal.
- Journaling has healing benefits
So much of our life is focused around how to keep our bodies healthy with diet, exercise, and good for us products, but it’s easy to let the health of our spiritual, emotional and mental state become forgotten. Writing problems down as a way to vent can help us better understand the issues we are facing in our lives, and handle them in a logical way. Writing good things down such as a pleasant thing that happened, things you feel thankful for, or nice things about yourself or others for acts as a way to meditate on the good, reinforcing the positive in our lives and helping us become more optimistic.
2. Journaling helps you become more intelligent
Being able to write well is not a necessity for keeping a journal, and that’s the beauty of it. Journaling is a simple way to get your thoughts on paper, no matter how raw and grammatically or politically incorrect they may be. However, when you make the attempt to write accurately about how you feel, about something that happened, or something you hope to happen, you are activating our brain to search for words, syntax, and style that truthfully portrays what you are trying to say. In this way, journaling can improve your clarity and vocabulary for thought, writing, and speech.
3. Journaling helps you set and achieve goals
There’s a reason we scribble our grocery list on a sticky note before leaving the house or pencil in a to-do list before starting our work week. We keep notes because we will forget things as we go throughout our day, as our time and energy become stretched thin. The same rule for setting and achieving goals applies in our lives. If we don’t set goals for ourselves, we may not accomplish the things we want to because “life gets in the way”. Journaling a set of goals you have for yourself, such as a promotion you hope to earn in your company, moving to a new country for a new adventure, traveling more to see the world, or to achieve a new level of health… no matter how simple or complex can help you remain reminded of these goals and stay focused and excited on accomplishing them.
4. Journaling improves your memory
Writing things down helps your memory in a few ways. One way is that if you write it down, you can literally go back to it and read what it is you have forgotten. But less obvious is that the act of writing actually installs into your brain further something you are trying to remember. The act of writing about something forces your brain to meditate on that thing longer, making it stay with you cognitively more than it would if you didn’t write anything at all.
5. Journaling helps you become more creative and confident
So much of our creativity is lost as we get older. Serious relationships, important jobs, and life’s stresses can be so overwhelming that we forget how to hold a pencil, paint a picture, or tell a story. So many of the fun and healthy things that we enjoyed as children, and our creativity with it, has become a luxury most of us just don’t afford. Writing helps to bring some of that childhood spontaneity back, as journaling freely exercises our stream of consciousness. There are very few times in our day as adults when we don’t have an audience to be in front of. Whether it’s an authority figure, a friend group, or your significant other, as we get older, less and less are we given permission to be silly or spontaneous. Writing is one of the ways you can become more creative as an adult, and thus, more confident in your own skin about your unique mind and personality.