Whatever happened to the days when people wrote in journals and diaries? Nowadays, everyone is turning to Facebook to share their feelings, so much so that it’s easily become the modern-day diary. However, nothing quite beats a pen and pad when it comes to getting out your thoughts.
While social media is a great tool to share information and connect with others, when it comes to self-expression, journaling is a personal experience; one that is about reflection and expression. Unfortunately, many people take the recreational purposes of social media to unnecessary levels and misplace its intended purpose. Sure, anyone should have the right to use their Facebook page or Twitter account however they choose, but the reality is that everyone doesn’t want to read your public diary.
Besides, there are actually great benefits to channeling all that energy in a personal journal. It can be a powerful tool to getting in touch with yourself and improving your physical well-being. According to a psychologist and researcher from the University of Texas at Austin, regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes and decreases symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them and reduce the impact of stressors on your physical health.
Writing accesses the left side of the brain, which is analytical and rational. And while the left is being occupied, your right brain is free to create and feel. Writing helps you remove mental blocks, and better understand yourself, the world and others around you. Journaling also allows you to track patterns and provides you with a timeline for your life. It gives you the benefit of looking through your past to see how much you’ve grown or evolved.
Here are a few more benefits of writing in your journal, provided by PsychCentral.com:
Clarify your thoughts and feelings
Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
Know yourself better
By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being.
Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings. By doing so you will feel calmer and better able to stay in the present.
Solve problems more effectively
Typically we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
Resolve disagreements with others
Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. And you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict.
If you want to transform your life this year, go out and purchase a journal and begin writing about your day, your thoughts and feelings for about 20 minutes a day. You’ll be amazed by what you discover.