There is nothing quite like getting unexpected advantages from something as easy as journaling. The simple act of writing down your thoughts, or daily activities, reaps many surprising rewards for health and wellness. Putting pen to paper has definite advantages, but effective journaling can help achieve goals and improve the quality of life.
Different parts of the brain activate during specific stages of writing. The occipital lobe helps with visualization and is active during brainstorming. The frontal lobes and the hippocampus work to consolidate information and activate during the creation phase. A neuroscientist can look at your brain scan and tell if you’ve been writing and where you are in the process. Creative writing is that impactful.
It’s not surprising that journaling regularly has such a beneficial impact with all this brain activity snapping off. This guide will discuss the benefits you can expect from journaling.
The Health and Wellness Benefits of Daily Journaling
The benefits run the gamut, from giving your brain a boost to improving your physical health. Just ten minutes of writing per day, at least three days a week is enough to start small changes. Journaling is valuable for a wide range of reasons, making the rewards different for each person. Get started now by checking out the most significant wellness features of keeping a daily diary.
1. Bolsters IQ
Keeping a daily diary can make you smarter. Research shows that writing in association with language learning correlates to intelligence. Journaling not only uses language but explores it. You search for new words and naturally increase your vocabulary and intelligence.
2. Organizes Thoughts
You organize your thoughts and ideas without even realizing it when you write. The simple act of putting what’s going on in your mind on paper is clarifying. Conjuring the words in your mind and watching them become sentences on the paper makes things seem a little clearer.
3. Set and Achieve Goals
There is no better place to write down your dreams and ambitions than in a journal. Keeping a daily journal helps you achieve your goals the same way a blueprint helps a carpenter build a house. Writing your goals down signals your brain’s reticular activating system that they are important. Your brain knows it’s time to look for tools and related opportunities to get the job done. Writing more details about your goals gives your brain a psychological blueprint that increases the likelihood of achieving them.
4. Promotes Healing
Stress, anxiety, and worry over hypothetical situations cause many illnesses. Translating traumatic experiences into written language makes them easier to comprehend and emotionally freeing in the process. Emotional release from keeping a daily journal reduces anxiety, lowers stress, and helps you sleep.
5. Boosts Confidence
Chronicling your best life helps your brain to relive each wonderful moment. You once again receive a rush of dopamine and endorphins that boost your mood and reassures you of your awesomeness.
Many people still have trepidation despite the notable benefits of keeping a journal. Time constraints and not knowing what to write about are the most common excuses. Once you get started, you’ll be glad you did.
Journaling Tips for Beginners
It’s never too late to start journaling. It can help you process your thoughts and connect with yourself in a way that you may not have done before. Getting started is much easier when you employ a few simple tips.
1. Choose a Journal You Love
Your journal must be something you love. Make sure the one you choose reflects your style, whether that means bold colors or plain brown wrapper, and you’ll always find a few minutes to write.
2. Pick a Journaling Style
People new to journaling quickly find out how big of a world it is. It can be a few lines a night in an old school composition notebook to help you sort your emotions. You can also use a traveler’s notebook with inserts you can move or a bullet journal with dot-grid paper that’s perfect for keeping yourself organized. Think of how you want to capture your thoughts and pick the method that works best for you.
3. Find a Writing Place
Find a place where you won’t be distracted and that you can personalize your writing habits. Being comfortable when you begin is vital, so make sure you can stretch out and be yourself, and the words will flow.
4. Dedicate Time to Write
Set aside a specific time to write in your journal. Make it a priority. You reap the most benefits from journaling by being consistent, so schedule writing time three to four days in a row for at least 10 minutes.
5. Use Writing Prompts
Most people don’t know exactly what they want to write about when they start. You can still draw a blank even if you do. Something about a stark white page is intimidating to many people. An easy way to beat writer’s block is by using writing prompts. Writing prompts are just ideas to write about in your journal. Search for them online, in writing reference books, or come up with your own list of prompts.
6. Get Creative
Stickers, stamps, and colored inks are all fun ways to get creative in your daily journal. Change from printing to cursive, add photos, pressed flowers, or images ripped from a magazine. Your journal is an expression of you. Fill it with anything you find beautiful, fascinating, or even repulsive. It’s all about you.
7. Schedule Reflection Time
Journaling can take a lot out of you emotionally. You discover a lot about yourself, and it takes time to process. Scheduling some reflection time after you journal is a great way to process the story you just recreated.
The benefits of journaling are available to anyone. You don’t have to be battling depression or working through a trauma, just interested in good health.
A Holistic Expert With Answers to Your Questions
Journaling is one of many effective holistic approaches to medicine that can help people fighting depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, weight gain, and myriad other health issues. Dr. Karen Threlkel is a naturopathic doctor serving the greater D.C. area. She provides a holistic approach to medicine as well as natural-focused remedies for treating both symptoms and underlying conditions.
Contact Dr. Threlkel to schedule a consultation for more information about your overall well-being or to learn more about natural remedies or treatments.