We know – your life is too busy for keeping a journal. Plus, writing in a journal is what you do when you’re in middle school, right?
You might feel this way about keeping a journal, but if you knew all the benefits you’d receiving from doing so — mental, emotional, and physical — I bet you’d feel differently about taking just 5 or 10 minutes a day, or even once a week, to write your thoughts down.
Many people write down their life ambitions and goals. Writing your goals down helps you clearly articulate them, and it also tells your brain that these things are important. After you’ve written a goal in your journal, you can then write about the steps you’re going to take to achieve said goal, your progress, and ultimately your attainment. Going back and looking at your past successes is motivation to continue setting and attaining your ambitions and goals.
We all have an innate desire to be creative. Journaling not only enables you to become a better sentence crafter, it helps you brainstorm new ideas, memorize significant information, and learn to more effectively communicate complex ideas and issues. As you write about your experiences, you can better process them and you might even think of new opportunities that didn’t come to mind at first. The relationship between the hand and brain is a unique and marvelous one.
Self-discipline involves you adopting a certain behavior pattern even though your first instinct is to choose the pattern that means putting in the least amount of effort. Self-disciple requires willpower, and in this case, your new behavior pattern is to regularly writing in your journal. Setting aside time to write in your journal, be it every morning or every Sunday evening, is itself an act of discipline. Sticking to this new behavior pattern will not only strengthen your self-discipline in this area of your life, it will lead to you having more self-control in other areas.
Heal Mind, Body, and Soul
Many who enjoy writing, write because expressive writing is a source of healing. It’s emotionally, physically, and psychologically healing. Oftentimes we have emotional experiences we can’t process in our minds or we choose to block them. But, if you take and write your experiences down, you’re more able to grasp and process them. The act of writing gives you emotional release, it lowers your stress and anxiety, and it helps you to sleep better at night.
Improve Your Overall Health
Besides ridding your body of emotional blockages and stress, there are several mental and physical health benefits to keeping a journal. Writing makes you feel good and re-live wonderful experiences and accomplishments, which boosts your self-esteem. Journaling also strengthens your immune cells, and some research has found it leads to decreases in asthma and arthritis.
Become Close With Your Posterity
Last but most certainly not least, keeping a journal is of great benefit to your posterity. Truthfully writing about yourself, your life experiences, and your family is a way for future generations to learn more about and come to really know and love you, even if they never get to meet you. What better way for them to learn about you and your life than from your own words? Certain things you write may even be a source of inspiration for them.
You can keep a journal, and you should. The benefits to you and your posterity are too good not to. And if you’re going to keep a journal that you can go back and read 5 years from now and that your posterity can read 50 years from now, you need a good, sturdy journal. You need one made of the proper materials and with the right skill and care to last throughout your life and after.
If your goal this next year is to keep a journal and write in it every day, but you’re unsure you’ll have enough to say every single day, download our 365 Days of Writing Prompts to receive various topics to write about each day of the year.