Not just possible, but probable - if you don't journal regularly, you may not understand just how powerful this habit can be, and how much it can make a difference in your life.
The benefits of daily journaling have been proven time and time again by researchers, and if you perform a Google search for "benefits of journaling" you'll retrieve a list of more than 9 million results.
The anecdotal evidence is even more compelling - if you talk to committed journalers, they'll tell you that journaling has saved their lives, their sanity, their health, and many more benefits.
It might be hard to imagine how simply writing about your emotions and your day can make such a significant difference in your health and well-being, but it truly can! Keep reading to see five of the key benefits that daily journaling can provide for your life and your level of growth.
Key Benefit #1: Stress Reduction
Too much stress in your life will be reflected negatively in your mental, emotional, and physical health. You'll suffer - often in ways you wouldn't ordinarily attribute to stress. Stress hormones can cause all sorts of ailments, illnesses, diseases, physical imbalances, and more - and the solution is simple (but not necessarily easy). Deal with your stress.
I can hear you now - "Okay, Dianne, exactly HOW am I supposed to do that? We live iin a stressful world, and it's not getting any easier!" You need an outlet for your worries and emotions - a committed and consistent place to share what's on your mind, free up mental space for other ideas and questions, and it needs to be a SAFE space where you can relax and let the stress flow away from you.
That place is - or could be - your journal.
People who journal regularly enjoy lower blood pressure, improved heart health, and a myriad of other benefits. Writing allows you to find better solutions to those stressful experiences - because keeping the emotions and thoughts bottled up inside is definitely NOT the answer.
Key Benefit #2: Goal Achievement
Writing in a journal every day can help you to track not only your goals, but your progress toward achieving them. It's a dedicated space to explore your dreams and ambitions - what might you dream of if you knew no one else would ever read it, and you wouldn't be judged for what you desire?
Your journal can help you clarify what you want to achieve and detail the steps to reach your goals. Writing out the challenges you face can help you brainstorm viable solutions to those roadblocks and obstacles that are standing in your way.
Keeping your goals at the forefront of your mind and heart with daily entries keeps them present, within your mind's eye, and will empower you to take actions to make them happen. The daily reminders won't let life get in the way - at least not for long - and you have a place to plan, to analyze, and to find solutions.
Key Benefit #3: Improved Emotional Health
Exploring your emotions may not be the easiest thing you'll ever tackle during your perfectly imperfect human life, but it's one of the most essential. Your journal is an awesome place to consider and think through your emotions, helping you identify what you're feeling and why.
You can use your journal to work through past emotional trauma or upsetting events, because getting some distance from the event can help you see it differently and open up your mind to alternative resolutions for the challenges.
The more you write, the more you'll be likely to drill down to the heart of patterns of behavior in your life that may not be serving you. Expressive writing - defined by the University of New Hampshire as: "personal and emotional writing without regard to punctuation, verb agreement, or other technical aspects of writing" - frees you to express yourself without worry about how it might sound, where the commas are placed, or even your spelling. It's a recommended way of exploring emotional blocks that could negatively affect your relationships or damage your self-esteem.
Key Benefit #4: Boost Emotional Healing
Once you've identified how you're feeling, journaling is a superior activity for healing past emotional trauma. Expressive writing can help you not only describe your thoughts, but uncover emotional blockages, discover previously hidden sources of pain or lack of trust, and untangle seemingly unrelated emotional responses that only seem unrelated, but which can actually be caused by deep-seated issues.
People who journal regularly (defined as being performed at regular intervals) report a better understanding of their emotions and the sources of those emotions. This understanding empowers them to identify better solutions for working through, and past old hurts or trauma.
Key Benefit #5: Teaches and Reinforces Self-Discipline
The act of carving out time in your schedule every day, putting yourself first, and tapping into an environment for expressing yourself is a habit that will help to teach and reinforce discipline.
The more you do things regularly, on a specific and defined schedule, the more likely it is to become a habit. When you start to experience all the positive benefits of journaling, it will convince you to keep going. You'll probably find yourself adopting other positive habits that enhance your emotional or physical well-being as well.
Journaling has so many benefits - including improving your physical health, enhancing and strengthening your memory, boosting your immune system, and helping generate more positive moods due to the release of endorphins during the activity.
As you get used to journaling and it becomes a habit for you, you'll start to notice your emotional state calms and gets more positive when your journaling time approaches. You'll start to look forward to it, and the benefits will increase.
Not quite convinced? Start journaling today and give yourself the gift of time - 21 to 30 days - to see if the habit is one that will "stick" for you. If you're curious and want to learn more about journaling, check out other journaling articles on the blog - there are many posts there that I think you'll find interesting.