The Science Behind Keeping a Journal

The Science Behind Keeping a Journal

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Journaling, believe it or not –has been around for ages.

In fact, the art of journaling can be traced back to at least 10th century Japan! Many notable people throughout history have kept a journal throughout their lifetimes –including many of our country’s forefathers, and a number of presidents.

Keeping a journal isn’t just enjoyable –there are quite a few physical and psychological benefits to journal keeping as well. In order for many of the health benefits to be recognized, your journal should be private –unless you choose to share it with someone. Keeping a public journal, like a blog, will eventually restrict what you feel you can say, and reduce the benefits you receive.

If you’re thinking of keeping a journal, read on to discover some of the many benefits of journal keeping. See what’s in store for you if you take the plunge!

Reduce Stress

Research shows that journaling can help to reduce stress. In a study published in the Psychotherapy Research, psychotherapy patients who let out their emotions through expressive writing experienced reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms. Writing about your feelings, especially painful ones such as sadness or anger can help to reduce their intensity. Being able to express our feelings helps us to come to terms with our thoughts and the situation, and enables us to deal with them better.

Build Problem Solving Skills

Evidence shows that journaling can help with problem-solving. Problem-solving generally takes place in the left side of the brain, but sometimes we need the right side to unlock an answer. Writing removes blocks and allows you to access both the creative and logical sides of your brain. When you write, you are able to solve problems using both sides of your brain and will be more likely to find solutions. Journaling helps us to get things out on paper, allowing us to sort out our thoughts and get to the bottom of things. It can help us to stay focused, and helps to prevent us from overthinking, and over complicating a lot of issues.

Build Self-Confidence

While journaling helps us to cope in difficult situations, journaling positive situations can help to build self-confidence. When you document a positive experience, you’ll be able to relive the moment all over again. It also helps to be able to look back over your experiences and see how positive moments have changed your life.

Improve Communication

Journaling is, in essence, a conversation. When you write, your thoughts are translated as a written form of communication. Those who clean up their writing and make an effort at making coherent thoughts will see their communication skills and speaking start to improve as well.

Increase Self-Discipline

Setting aside time to write is an act of discipline. The more you exercise your will to be disciplined, the more self-disciplined you will see yourself becoming; not only in journaling, but other areas too. One thing will lead to another and soon you’ll find yourself forming other disciplined habits as well.

Remember, you don’t have to start journaling deep thoughts and long passages –especially in the beginning. Start simple, and work your way up –if you wish. Documenting even the smallest things in life, even little things that made you happy, can go a long way towards improving your mood and outlook on life. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar when you are journaling –put the pen to paper and let the words and thoughts go.

Do you journal? Do you find that it helps to improve your outlook on life?

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