I will bet most of the people who are reading this post either had or have a journal or diary. Depending on how you use it, all sorts of things might be written down in it. In my diary, I mostly keep my appointments and important things I need to do. But my journal? Oh well, I keep all sorts of things there.
In the past few weeks, my journalling has tailed off. I can really feel the difference. I mean, I have been really busy and it is understandable that stuff falls under the radar now and again. But I have noticed a change in my mood, and not for the better. I had a lot of stress and resentment simmering under the surface and where I would usually resolve it by writing it all out in my journal, I had instead been rolling it over and over in my mind and getting more and more stressed about it. How interesting!
Anyway, I was at a big stationer’s shop this morning with my Mum who was buying a new typing chair. I took the opportunity to take a good look around and found some excellent journals and diaries at bargain prices, along with some really cool coloured pens (a particular weakness of mine) and somehow they all leapt into a basket and were checked out by me. I love the feeling of new pens and pencils. I think it might be the accountant in me, still trying to get out.
So when I came home, lo and behold, in the front of one of my little journals it has some information about why journalling is good for you. I thought it would be a good subject to blog about, and share this information with you.
Journalling is a great way to organise your thoughts. It is used quite often in self help and life coaching methodologies, and I find it personally a great way of getting some strong emotions out, safely. It also reduces your mental clutter. This is great for those times when you are struggling to sleep. If it is because your brain is going three thousand miles and hour, journalling might be a way to get those pesky thoughts out of the brain so you can sleep. In addition, sometimes, you can get great insights into who you are and how you operate. I always find it interesting to see how things looked in the past when I re-read my journals, when I can face doing so.
Studies have shows that it can also improve your mental and physical health, counteract stress and boost immunity. Considering I have been feeling less than well for the last few days, and I have somehow found the energy to clean my house, do the laundry and get some niggling little jobs done since I journalled again late this morning, I am minded to pay attention to that a little more in future. of course, the fact that writing helps your cognitive function generally also helps.
In addition, there are benefits to writing in a paper journal (as opposed to on a screen) also helps keep your inner critic at bay. Word processors make it all too easy to constantly edit as you type. Writing without that critic is apparently quite liberating, but I am not entirely sure I am ever going to achieve that. But it is worth practising.
So what can you use journalling for? You can use it to set goals, explore ideas, reflect on books or films you find interesting, clarify an unresolved situation, work out emotionally challenging experiences, write about your travel experiences, or even just keep track of your diet and exercise.
What ever you use journalling for, know that it is doing you the power of good to do it. I am planning on making it a morning thing for me to do some, and do bits throughout the day so I can keep on top of the stressful occurrences which seem to be part and parcel of life at the moment.