Journaling…. it’s NOT just a teenage thing!
So, you’ve heard about journaling…. but the only thing that comes to mind when you think about it is a teenage girl laying on her bed, legs swinging in the air and writing ‘dear dairy… ’
If this sounds like you, don’t worry you’re not the only one.
But there’s got to be more to it then this airy-fairy diary writing…surely????? And I’m here to tell you YES, there totally is!
AND Journaling is rated one of the best personal development tools you can use.
So lets clear this up…
What is journaling???
Journaling is writing down your thoughts, feelings and emotions. You can do this in a book, a piece of paper, heck you could even use a shopping docket if you wish. The process is just about allowing yourself to write whatever comes to mind. It does not have to be neat or have correct spelling & grammar…just a free flow of your thoughts.
Oh, just a heads up, research does suggest that writing has a greater impact than typing.
Also, the thing about journaling is that we can all do it slightly different. It’s about finding what works for you and doing it in a way that it will serve you and your purpose. You can journal every day like Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci. You can do it when you are faced with a challenging situation or event like I do. You could do it as a gratitude journal or you may find you just want to touch base with yourself once a week, fortnight or month.
So…how can writing my thoughts out onto paper actually help me???
There are endless benefits of journaling. From a number of published studies that suggest journaling can help people with a variety of mental health disorders and eating disorders.
As well as better cope with stressful events, relieve anxiety, boost immune cell activity, increase emotional intelligence aswell as increase focus and motivation.
My fave benefit which is still find so fascinating is ‘Journaling can increase your immune system.’
When I tell people this they generally respond with a confused look asking how writing out your thoughts can actually do this. So let me explain;
As the world around us is getting more and more stressful people are living in ‘fight and flight’ mode most of the time, if not, all the time. Unfortunately when you are living in this state our body shuts down all our unnecessary functions; digestive system, reproductive system, immune system etc. (Which was awesome in pre-historic days. Who wants to go to the toilet when they are getting chased by a saber tooth tiger.) As you journal the process helps calm you down and relieve stress. Taking you out of ‘fight and flight’ and allowing your body to put these functions ‘back on-line’ and start functioning as they should.
There was even a study done in 2013 where a group of people were asked to journal for 20mins a day, 3 days in a row before a scheduled medical biopsy. What they found was that the wounds of 73% of the people who journalled were completely healed in 11 days!!!
WHAT!!!! Crazy hey???
So let me give you a real life example of how writing out your thoughts can actually help bring you clarity and relieve stress in a normal situation.
So your husband has really upset you. Maybe you have come home from a busy day to a trashed house, dishes not done, or dinner might not be cooked and that’s just the beginning. By the time you get into bed you’re so angry with him and you want to talk it out…only to hear his breathing getting deeper and deeper. How can that **** just roll over and go to sleep and I’m laying here so upset. Doesn’t he even care? So you have the choice to lay there getting yourself more and more upset with the loop on negative thinking going around and around in your head. OR you can get up and journal. Set the timer for 10mins and see where it takes you. What this allows is those negative loop thoughts to come out. Once you move past those you give yourself an opportunity to get deeper and start to gain clarity and understanding where all the frustration and anger actually came from. With this new clear perspective you can find ways to deal with the situation. You are the expert on your life…you just need to see and understand it better.
This process actually happens as writing access’s the left hemisphere of the brain, which is the analytical and rational part. So while this part is occupied the right side is free and can do what it does best which is create and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows more brain power to better understand our-self and the world around us.
“It’s not the situation or event that causes us stress and anxiety its how we process it”
Have I convinced you to give journaling a go yet????
Hey, what have you got to loose right???
Grab your journal and start writing out those thoughts and see how it works for you!
I love talking journaling.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need that extra little push to unlock your power within in…
Remember you are the expert in your life…. I just give you the tools to unleash it!!