Journaling for Growth
According to an article published on Psychcentral.com there are many positive health benefits to keeping a journal and writing in it at least once a day. For example, previous research findings support the idea that a healthy cycle of journaling strengthens immune cells- the cells involved in defending our body against diseases- and even helps to decrease symptoms of asthma.
A few of the noted benefits from the article include:
- Clarifying thoughts and feelings
- Being able to know and understand yourself better
- Reducing stress
Journaling can happen in many different ways. You can keep a document on your computer or laptop where you write your feelings out, go the old-fashioned way with a trusty pen and fresh sheet of paper, or even buy a decent-sized notebook or two where some of your best-kept stories can come to life (and maybe even grow into best-selling novels)!
I, myself find journaling to be extremely therapeutic. Writing my thoughts out on paper help me to sort through the restless chatter that goes on in my head. When I write things down and turn repetitive thoughts into poems I learn something new about myself each time; I learn about my own mental health and even come to better understand what makes me happy as an individual.
One thing I’ve come to realize about myself is that I love to journal during thunderstorms and have always found the sound of rainfall to be soothing. These sounds help me relax and concentrate on matters that I should be focusing on – as opposed to me constantly giving attention to situations that happened three weeks ago or even those which have yet to happen. Journaling has also helped me strengthen my writing skills and it even gives me another “artistic” outlet to lean on (besides painting) when I’m feeling creative.
Before throwing them out, one of my favorite things to with old journals is read through them to get a better sense of my own actions and how previous habits and/or thoughts have changed, diminished, or developed over time. Keeping a journal that you can reflect on in the future offers many rewarding experiences. You’ll be able to read through past experiences, correct your own writing errors, and even understand how a certain situation may not have been as big of a deal as it seemed to be while it was taking place.
One idea I have for you is to start a 365-day journal: buy one or two journals and write your thoughts out for a whole year. At the end of the year you’ll be able to reflect on everything you experienced and felt! A year too long? Try a month, a week, a day. Then let us know how it went!