Haven Yoga and Meditation share the benefits of writing your way to better health.
Keeping a personal journal can be a daunting idea, plagued by images of sticker-covered notebooks filled with childhood memories. Well, journaling is no longer a childhood trauma or an old-fashioned pastime, it’s something you can be doing, now! Journaling does more than keep a record of your day-to-day activities, it provides you with limitless health benefits to improve your mental state. Here are five fantastic virtues of journaling:
1. Set and achieve your goals
A personal journal isn’t just a place to jot down your daily activities, rather, it provides a perfect place to write your goals, ambitions, motivations, and resolutions. By writing down your goals, you’re able to monitor your success and motivate yourself to continue your milestone journeys.
2. Inspire creativity
Most people don’t realise their creative potential. Whether it’s due to their workplace, friendships or relationships, some just don’t have the opportunity to explore and develop it. Everyone has the potential to be creative and a fantastic way to discover it, is a journal. A journal is a great place to start exploring your inner creativity by jotting down any ideas that come to your head. Don’t worry if they don’t make sense or if they aren’t connected, let your imagination run wild and you will see improvements as time goes on.
3. Boost your memory
Writing in a journal will help keep your brain in peak condition. By writing things down, your brain can establish stronger connections with the information you have written, making it easier to recall in the future. Journaling helps boost your memory, comprehension and increase working memory capacity which can improve cognitive processing.
4. Relieve stress
Almost everyone experiences stress on a daily occurrence, from working long hours to expectations set by friends and family. An excess of stress is damaging to your physical, mental, and emotional health. By journaling, you’re able to write down your feelings to help you “brain-dump” your frustrations, pains, and anxieties to relieve some of that stress. By exposing your inner emotions throughout your journal, you’re able to look back over your emotional rollercoaster and see how you can avoid or improve similar situations in the future.
Self-reflection through journaling is an effective way of slowing down our ever-increasing fast-paced lives. We often get caught up in work stress and family/friends’ commitments that we don’t have a chance to look back on what we’ve achieved and experienced. As Ferris Bueller once said; “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Take some time to slow down and reflect, discover what you believe, recognise patterns in your thinking and gain clarity on the things you truly care about.
6. Developing a spiritual practice
Overtime journaling becomes a spiritual practice, enabling you to get closer to yourself and to really get to know who you are at a deeper level. In reflection, in reviewing your thoughts and actions, in being the observer of your thoughts, you start to understand yourself beyond the ego, beyond the external story. By writing down your daily activities and thoughts, you learn about yourself through re-reading them, developing your internal voyage. Journaling becomes an expression of who you really are at a spiritual level.