There is a reason why psychiatrists advise their patients to keep a record of how they are feeling and how often. It is not just for tracking good and bad days and figuring out what went wrong on bad days. There are many benefits of journaling. Below I will explore a few of the most known benefits.
Increase In Joy And Happiness
Writing down thoughts and feelings on a regular basis is proven to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which are connected to joy and happiness. How does this happen? Well writing is a form of therapy. Writing your reflections is equivalent to confiding to a priest, essentially unburdening yourself of the torments you may be going through. Sharing the pains and joys of life, whether with another person or on paper, gives us the comfortable feeling of I can lean on something or somebody. Keeping a diary also helps us process our emotions and experiences, for which we may not find the time otherwise. Whether you speak your thoughts or write them down, the universe is listening and will conform to your thoughts! Start writing today!
Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford
Increase in Creativity
When presented with a blank sheet of paper the possibilities are endless. With each stroke of pen the imagination expands and our thoughts and ideas take on new forms making the end product very unique. And not only is it unique, it’s the representation of our being. Imagine! A collection of your own creations in one place! The journal is truly a treasure to keep and refer to when inspiration is needed.
If you are unsure how to start the journal, just type journaling ideas into the search field on Pinterest and you will be floored with the amount of beautiful layouts and lists to choose from.
Taking Charge of Your Own Well-Being
When you decide to start a journal, you may have just made one of the most important decisions in your life. I am not exaggerating. You would be surprised how rewarding the experience is, even if it involves a couple of sentences or a doodle a day. Being able to go back in time and look at your thoughts and see how you’ve changed or evolved as a person is incredible on its own. The best part is you are taking charge of your own well-being versus visiting a professional to help you feel good in life. Still need proof that journaling is good for you? Well, read on.
Leaving A Legacy
Another reason why you should start a journal if you haven’t already is that journals are a legacy. They are what remains of your life after you are gone and what loved ones can remember you by. It can also be a thoughtful and memorable gift to give to someone. You might also want to consider including journals in your will.
Many Types of Journals
If you feel you can’t commit to extensive writing each day, fear not. Journaling is about expressing yourself any way you want to and how often you want to. One day you may be feeling overwhelmed about a situation and may feel like writing a novel about it, or not writing anything at all. That’s ok. Whether you write reflections, ideas, poems, stories, draw pictures, or make lists and collages, journaling should be fun and all about you!
If you don’t like the prospect of writing because you have poor handwriting or simply don’t enjoy it, there are many free journals on the web that you can use. Penzu is a great option that gives the ability to customize the look of your diary. Journalate is a simple, calendar-based journal. Finally, there is GoodNightJournal which gives the functionality of making your journal entries public or private and you can read and comment on other people’s journal entries.
To motivate you to start a journal or start a new one, this month I will be giving away one Peter Pauper journal. Check out the December Giveaway page for more information or simply login below to get started.
I love this article, as I write in my journal every day, and I’m enjoying all of the benefits you’ve mentioned . (except of course for leaving a legacy, as I haven’t died yet).
I’ve also noticed a steady increase in the amount of words that I write each day. That visible progress has actually motivated me to write a novel. Within 9 days, I had more than 50,000 words written, and I think a lot of my motivation came from writing in my journal.
Another thing I did was keep track of my sleeping patterns. It was interesting to see the correlation between the amount of sleep I got, compared to the quality of my day. I don’t do this anymore though, because it helped me reschedule my life, and I now go to bed at 21:00, and wake up at 04:30. It feels great! (this isn’t for everyone though)
I think that no matter who you are, keeping a journal will always be a healthy thing to do. The most difficult part at first is remembering to write in it!