Journaling. I really had no idea the role it can play in making us healthier and happier. Writing can be really powerful for healing, growth, and transformation!
I’m not a natural journaler, and I marvel at friends who have notebooks filled with thoughts, insights and even prayers. I’ve been through seasons where I’ve tried. Quite frankly, I’m really too impatient to spend time long-handing out my thoughts and often I really don’t care to see some of them in writing. But lately, I’ve been challenging myself to rethink my view of journaling and adapt it to a style that fits me. Here’s a few things I’m noticing about the benefits of writing:
1- Frees up mind space – Instead of spending more mental energy remembering my grocery or to do list (or even significant dreams I’ve had), once it’s written down, I can be free to creatively think, reflect on, or problem solve…even just let my thoughts be still. That’s a stress reducer!
2- Improves productivity – As I write down specific goals for the day (week or month), I’m realizing how much more I can accomplish. It gives me an outline and solidifies a specific plan, which helps guide and direct my days. Though it’s the same things turning in my mind, there is something to putting it down and seeing it written out on paper that helps with focus, not to mention determination and motivation!
3- Identifies patterns – Yeah! Those thoughts I didn’t care to see in writing? Nailed it. Those are the thoughts that needed to change. The ones I need to catch quickly, so that I can refocus and redirect my thoughts back to what is true and authentic, lovely, peaceful, pure, kind, gracious, and excellent.
4- Processes and records life – This has become very real, as I’m putting the final edits on my first book. While I’ve written in more detail about my own health journey, it’s brought the realization of how far I have come, how much I’ve learned, and how my life has been transformed. Writing about some really difficult seasons of my life has been very therapeutic. I’ve been able to not only record the story of the healing process, but also the lessons learned to help others. Putting all the pieces together has helped bring closer to this chapter of my life. The ending helps reframe and bring a new gratitude to painful situations. At the same time, it shines a new light of satisfaction and reward on perseverance …and the excitement of new beginnings.
Documented benefits for a healthier body and happier mind
Research also shows journaling helps you:
5- Sleep deeper and better
6- Heal faster (even wound healing!)
7- Slow your thoughts and bring clarity
8- Organize ideas, thoughts, and beliefs
9- Build self-awareness
…and this is just a short list! Be looking next week for more journaling benefits and 5 tips for Writing for a Healthier and Happier Life —secrets I’ve discovered to help convert non-journalers!