Since mindfulness and being present has become a recent trend, journaling came along with that as well. I don’t say this is bad, but rather something good.
Journaling has a lot of positive benefits and costs next to nothing. (Nothing if you don’t buy a journal).
For me, journaling got me started on writing regularly. My girlfriend gave me my first “real” journal as a gift. At the beginning, I only used it to describe everything I saw during my travels, but now it’s become a daily companion where I can unload all good, bad, neutral, necessary and unnecessary thoughts, that burden me.
This is especially helpful for my sleep since it lets me get rid of everything that’s in my head and might possibly keep me awake.
A journal is also a great place to write down ideas or short sentences you don’t want to lose.
Now that you heard my personal story on why I like to journal I wanted to give you some scientific data on the benefits of journaling.
A study conducted at the University of Texas in Austin, researchers found out that journaling strengthens the immune system, especially T-lymphocytes (a specific immune cell). Other researcher says that journaling seems to decrease the symptoms of asthma or rheumatoid arthritis.
The reason for this effect is, according to many researchers, that writing about stressful events makes it easier to deal with them and as a consequence decrease their impact on our lives.
Journaling can also enhance your social life since it can help you to overcome social conflicts. Writing about these will often let you realize how minuscule the problem you’re arguing about is.
Sometimes reading or writing your journal will also make you realize that you might have overreacted in a specific situation and lets you understand the other person’s point of view.
Journaling will also, according to research, help you overcome mentally stressful events and trigger positive growth from them.
Did you ever feel overwhelmed by all the things you had in your head? You probably did and since most of us are bombarded with tons of ads, emails, messages and other things to do, it sometimes can get too much.
Journaling is a great way to cope with all those thoughts in your head and order them. Usually, you will also realize that most of the thoughts are unnecessary and just occupy space in your head, without adding any additional benefit.
Use your journal as a tool to free your head from all those unnecessary thoughts.
Although most people like physical journals more (there is just something about writing with pen and paper) at the beginning it doesn’t really matter if you use a digital or a physical journal.
I recommend using a physical journal since you are probably already spending enough time in the digital world.
There are also fewer distractions with a physical journal. When you plan to journal in the evening a physical journal is much better, since looking into a screen in the evening will mess with your sleep as you will read in another tip!
Steps to take:
- Start a journal today, whether it’s physical one or a digital one.
- Try to write in it on a regular basis.
- Don’t judge your writing. It’s your journal, you can put anything in there!