Five Reasons To Start Journaling Today
Both history and popular culture bear witness to the power of journals, whether it’s classic books such as The Diary of Anne Frank or fictional accounts like the immensely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid, there is something uniquely engaging and inspiring about personal journals. In it’s simplest form, journaling involves keeping a written daily record of your observations and experiences. Even though your day to day life may not seem particularly significant to write about, keeping a diary can have many benefits. Here are five of the best ones:
Achieve Your Goals
Writing down your dreams and ambitions is the first step toward realising them. The process of reflecting upon your goals and breaking them down into smaller targets on paper, serves to encourage the brain to take relevant action whenever possible. Journaling also helps you keep track of your progress and can act like a psychological blueprint, increasing your chances of achieving the goals you think and write about.
Improve Memory and Comprehension
Keeping a journal is an excellent way to help you improve your ability to recall events and data. What you record in your journal is entirely personal, but you may find it helpful to focus on writing down anything that you would like to be able to recall several years from now. This may include your impressions of places you visit, special experiences that only come around once in a lifetime, your thoughts about world events, etc. The relationship between the brain and the hand is such that the physical act of writing out letters and words sparks connections in the brain and spurs cognitive recall, hence strengthening memory and comprehension.
Boost Your IQ
According to a report by the University of Victoria, vocabulary is one of the best single measures of overall intelligence as measured by intelligence tests. As journaling is an exploration of language, it inspires the natural urge to search for new words and increase your vocabulary. Over a long period of time, a regular writing practice can therefore boost intelligence. “Writing as part of language learning has a positive correlation with intelligence,” the report further states.
Increase Emotional Intelligence
Just as important as IQ, Emotional Intelligence is the ability to perceive and manage your emotions, and that of others. Since journaling is an outlet for processing our feelings and experiences, it works to substantially increase self-awareness. Writing about our life helps us notice any limiting beliefs and negative patterns we unconsciously engage in. This can help us break through emotional and psychological blocks to become more balanced and happy individuals. Moreover, increasing familiarity with ourselves helps us better intuit and understand what others are experiencing. The ability to empathise with someone is a mark of emotional intelligence, and allows us to form deeper, more meaningful relationships.
Mindfulness or being in the present moment helps combat stress and frustration. Research has shown a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness as focussing on the present moment helps us notice the little things that are often taken for granted. Journaling is a mindful activity Journaling brings you into a state of mindfulness as writing calls a wandering mind to attention. It involves actively engaging with your thoughts which makes past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment. A particularly effective way of mindful journaling is writing about the things, situations or people that you are grateful for in your life. Taking the time to really notice the positive things that surround us is the simplest and most effective way of cultivating a sense of joy and peace t in life.