Last year sure created a different lifestyle for us, and very unexpectedly too! While our situation was scary, in many ways I felt so alone, it was enjoyable to go online and see what people were doing to pass time. Puzzle making, knitting, growing container gardens, and probably the most popular-making bread! For me, I sewed more, did adult coloring to play with color combinations, and I started journaling.
Now, this wasn’t my first time at the journal rodeo, in fact I’d tried several times over the last ten years and for whatever reason it didn’t stick with me. Even trying different styles of journaling, such as writing free form or responding to prompt questions like my favorite book, felt off. Purchasing fancy journals, colorful composition books, and bright, colored pens didn’t make a difference-it just didn’t resonate. It was frustrating because I’d heard of the many great benefits of journaling regularly and felt I was missing out.
I’m not sure why journaling came to me last year. Maybe it was the overwhelming feeling of confusion to be without my normal routine, being without the daily contact of my friends, or maybe just finally being ready but this time journaling stuck with me and felt natural. It actually felt amazing! Plus, it gave me a rhythm, a routine and connectedness that went missing last year. Even better, I became more focused, goal oriented, and even stopped procrastinating. Bonus!
Researching the long term benefits reveal a lot of pluses, some obvious and some not so obvious, and here they are:
Information on how stress negatively impacts your physical, mental, and emotional health has been around for awhile. Journaling, along with diet and exercise, is an amazing stress management tool. Studies have shown that journaling even 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a week helps.
Journaling boosts memory, comprehension, and increases your working memory capacity. Yes, I’ll take second helpings of that!
This probably plays into the first reason, stress reduction, but people who journal regularly have discovered it helps improve their mood, and they had a greater sense of emotional well-being and joy. Those feelings will attract more positivity into your life, a big plus.
Continued journaling helps you become more connected with your inner needs and desires. You engage right brain creativity as you write and flexing this “muscle” boosts many things, including problem solving.
Hey, it’s new territory so it could feel awkward at first. Once you get a rhythm going, like anything new, it’ll be a part of your life you look forward to. Just show up at least 3 days a week, even if only one sentence is what you end up with. It’s amazing to go back a week or month later and see what was going on.
The journal system that got me going is easy and has three different segments that can easily be finished in 10 minutes. You can spend more time if you want but it’s not necessary. For me, I think best when writing so it’s all about pen and paper. Studies have shown that writing, particularly cursive, helps boost creativity, improves memory, learning comprehension, and fine motor skills. It’s your thing though so be comfortable. I’ve created a free workbook to get you started! Just download it below.
You’ll have so much fun in the morning with your cup of coffee, or winding down at night capturing everything end of day. Let me know what you think and if you come up with any cool new methods of journaling!
Bye for now!
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