Keeping a Journal: A Healthy (New?) Habit for 2018

Here’s why:

Writing in a Journal Optimizes Your Own Creative Potential: Most people tend to live their lives on other people’s terms. For example, many people wake up and immediately check their phone or email. In other words, we’ve become increasingly guided by other people’s agendas. If you want to have more creative flow in your life, stop checking your social media and email so much. Check them once or twice per day. Detach from the addiction to numb your mind and escape reality. Instead, get lost in the creative projects you’ve always wanted to do.

Writing helps Clear Your Emotions: Several research studies have found that writing in your journal reduces stress.  These benefits include: increased focus, greater stability, releasing pent-up thoughts and emotions and detaching and letting go of the past.  After you’ve vented on the pages of your journal, you’ll be better able to move forward. An honest and inspired journal session can be a great form of therapy; and, if you still feel stuck, you might decide to discuss your journal entries during counseling sessions.

Writing Ingrains Your Learning: Humans are bad at retaining information. We forget most of what we read and hear. However, when we write down the things we’ve learned, we retain them far better. Even if you never re-read what you’ve written, the simple act of writing something down increases brain development and memory.  Writing allows our memories to target and ingrain the important stuff we want to remember. Furthermore, we’ll be able to work out problems and get insights while we ponder and write about the things we’re learning.

Keeping a Journal Increases Your Gratitude:  Gratitude will change your entire life orientation from one of scarcity to one of abundance. The benefits of gratitude are seemingly endless: Gratitude makes us happier, healthier, strengthens our emotions, develops our personality, makes us more optimistic, reduces materialism, increases spirituality, makes us less self-centered, increases our self-esteem, improves our sleep, increases our energy level, helps us relax and deepens our friendships.

Keeping a Journal Unfolds The Writer In You:  Keeping a journal can help you develop strong writing habits and discover your “voice”, whilst clearing your mind and clarifying your ideas. Even if you never intend to publish your writing, you will have recorded valuable personal and family stories which will be cherished in later life and by future generations of your loved ones.

Penny Freeland is a British qualified counsellor and coach. For further information please contact  

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