When we think of journaling, I think we tend to think of the traditional diary-like input of our youth or that it’s for teenage girls only.
But what if I told you that many great historical minds also journaled.
Leonard da Vinci
...to name a few, all kept journals.
And did you know that journaling has been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits?
In fact, research has shown that writing in a journal can help:
Improve cognitive functioning
Strengthen immune system responses
Decrease symptoms of arthritis, asthma & other health conditions
Counteract many negative effects of stress
Whew; that's more than enough of a benefit for me!
Need more reasons? Keep reading.
While we could write several blogs on the many benefits of journaling, I’d like to focus on how journaling can bring you JOY and why you should consider starting a journal.
Today especially, we are all trying to navigate new waters and figure our way around uncharted territory, so any help on how we could experience a little joy in all of this surely would be helpful.
We mentioned above that journaling can help with stress, which also includes relief from anxiety. When we lessen the anxiety in our day to day life, we open up to the possibility of experiencing more JOY. Pure and simple.
Whether you have done it a few times here and there, or are consistent in the practice, you likely have found that journaling is a great outlet to process your thoughts and emotions, and in turn increase self-awareness.
Most of the time, we are too busy to recognize that our thoughts over power and fill our heads with all kinds of stress-ridden “stories” that we then mistake for the “truth,” forgetting that we created the thoughts ourselves in the first place.
Author, investor and podcaster Tim Ferriss calls journaling the deloading phase in life, explaining, “I use it as a tool to clarify my thinking and goals. The paper is like a photography darkroom for my mind.”
By unloading and thereby unveiling our thoughts onto paper, we begin to see a few things.
And sometimes we realize that many of our stressful thoughts were just that, thoughts only, with no real truth to the stories that cause us anxiety. And by virtue of unloading, we have also released them out of our head, cleared the space they took up in our mind and essentially allow them to lose their power over us.
Successful entrepreneur, author and previously the chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael Hyatt says “What happens to us is not as important as the meaning we assign to it. Journaling helps sort this out.”
By achieving clarity, journaling can then bring you into a state of mindfulness and call a wandering mind to attention. Past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge when we are present in the moment.
And because there is an incredibly strong connection between mindfulness and happiness, you will soon be on your way to experiencing more JOY.
One of the best parts about journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to doing it. So grab your pen and paper (or laptop if you must) and write whatever comes to mind.
But write, and write consistently and continuously.
May the JOY be with YOU!
GUEST POST FROM BERTHA AGIA
Bertha is an accomplished communications specialist with more than 2 decades of expertise & experience, most notably with Qualcomm. She founded The Write Stuff in 2019 with the goal of leveraging her expertise to help people, companies, and other outlets such as tech, real estate, fashion/beauty and the entertainment world tell compelling stories. Bertha holds a BA in Communications from the University of California San Diego. Prior to working at Qualcomm, Bertha studied child development and worked as a full-time pre-school teacher with her own 3-year old classroom at Sorrento Mesa Kids College in San Diego. Bertha resides in San Diego with her family.