“Dear diary…”

That’s how many perfectly imperfect adults still see journaling, isn’t it?

We conjure up an image of a teenager lounging on their bed, writing about their crush ignoring them in the cafeteria.

We overlook the value of journaling as a self-development tool. Science repeatedly tells us that journaling offers a host of benefits for the mind (https://www.uwhealth.org/news/the-benefits-of-journaling/48224). Let’s take a look at how with these 10 important benefits:

Benefit One: Embracing Mindfulness

When you journal about your frustrations, concerns, and anxieties you remove their power. When worry loses its edge you can move to a more mindful place.

Benefit Two: Stretching Your Vocabulary

As you write in your journal you will be exploring language. You will reach points where you wonder what word to use at the moment and you will search for new ones. This repeated cycle of wonder and searching is going to stretch your vocabulary, as well as encourage your imagination.

Benefit Three: Chasing Goals

Your journal is a place where you can write about your dreams, ambitions, and goals for life. Simply writing them down on paper can’t be enough to achieve those goals, can it? While it’s more complicated than that, you certainly can’t achieve your goals if you don’t know what they are, and writing them down tells your brain they’re important. It encourages your brain to red flag opportunities that will help you achieve your goal.

Benefit Four: Supporting Emotional Intelligence

A journal is an ideal, safe, you-controlled place to process your feelings. As you continue to dig deeper into those feelings, you’ll learn to manage and perceive emotions (yours and others). It’s this ability that will increase your self-awareness as well as your emotional intelligence.

Benefit Five: Increasing Comprehension & Improving Memory

Words represent ideas, and as you formulate those ideas by forming letters your brain retains that information. Journaling encourages the improvement of your memory and an increase in your comprehension.

Benefit Six: Increasing Self-Discipline

How can journaling support self-discipline? It requires you to set time aside to journal, daily, and that in itself is an act of self-discipline. Discipline breeds discipline, just like a muscle that becomes stronger the more you exercise it. When you consistently practice a positive habit like journaling you are supporting your self-discipline and increasing your ability to spread good habits throughout your life. So, journaling will have a domino effect on healthy habits.

Benefit Seven: Better Communication

The more you write, the better you’ll be able to communicate with others. You’ll grow to put more thought into the words that you choose and how you communicate certain ideas. Journaling might not make you a better public speaker, but it will certainly improve your writing and overall communication skills.

Benefit Eight: Promotes Healing

There is healing power in the pen. We perfectly imperfect, beautifully unique human beings tend to overthink things and create unnecessary stress and anxiety for ourselves. Writing all of that out in a journal helps relieve those emotional blockages. What you’re doing as you write it all out is processing it in a way that makes it easier for you to comprehend. By doing that, you are freeing your mind from the emotionally tangled web you have weaved for yourself.

Benefit Nine: Triggers Creativity

We already touched on creativity, but it bears repeating. Allowing yourself to write freely without thinking is an excellent way to beat writer’s block, trigger new ideas and thoughts, and just allow yourself to let go. Freeing your mind encourages more “flow.” You may just surprise yourself with the depth and breadth of your creativity once you take the chains off of your mind by journaling.

Benefit Ten: Boosts Self-Confidence

When you journal about the positive experiences you’ve had, your brain relives that joy and gets a healthy boost in self-confidence. You can also trigger an endorphin release that keeps the good feelings going for a period of time. It’s a great way to smother self-doubt when it rears its ugly head, and it’s also a great mood booster.

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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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