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The incredible benefits of journaling

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart” – William Wordsworth

Too often, as adults, we journal because we feel we should. Journaling can feel like a chore, an extra thing to do in our already-full lives. It’s easy to go through the motions, to methodically list what we did that day and even to not be honest with our journal for fear that writing down our feelings and fears might somehow make them come true. Now, journaling is a very individual thing and because of that, there is no right or wrong way to do it, but the pages of a journal are sacred and private and because of that, they can be an extremely valuable space to be truly honest.

If you reread your teenage journals, and, aside from potentially seismic levels of embarrassment, what you may find in their glitter-pen-covered pages was… honesty. Unashamed honesty. All the big, messy feelings that come with being a teen. While we’re not asking for teen angst, and frankly, who wants to go back there? Putting pen to paper stimulates the parts of your brain responsible for thinking, language and memory. By activating these, you’re giving yourself greater space to process information, feelings and memories.

We know that finding a way to journal in an authentic way can be difficult. A trick we often use is the two-minute rule. This is a great way to make something a habit, by just dedicating two minutes a day to the practice. Over time you will find it will become second nature and then, a habit! Two minutes is also a great, realistic goal to have on days where you may not even feel like journaling at all.

You can also dedicate some time in your diary or use a habit tracker app when you’re starting out – just so you can work out what time of day best suits your practice.

Over time, as you journal more and more frequently, you’ll find greater clarity in your thoughts. You’ll find you’re better able to rationalise internal critical thoughts and are able to better process the everyday challenges you face.

By putting words on paper, they will no longer clog your brain space and allow you to think both laterally and creatively about any problems you may be facing.

Besides helping define and guide you out of problems you may be facing, journaling has proven to be one of the most effective ways to practice gratitude! Physically writing down three things a day that you are grateful for (could be big – grateful for a promotion; or small – grateful for a warm bed to crawl into at the end of the day) will help reduce your stress and gain further clarity as to what you find valuable.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen (even a glitter pen), a journal, put pen to paper and get honest.



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