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The Benefits of Journaling - Gemma Brown

10.08.2021

 

Journaling for well-being

 

Journaling is a bit like marmite - you’re either for it or against. However you feel about it, it’s impossible to deny the multiple benefits to both our mental health and well-being that a regular journaling practice can offer.

 

The idea of journaling may conjure up the image of a teenage girl having a ‘dear diary’ moment recalling events of the day. And while capturing events in story-form has its place, journaling is not solely reserved for teenagers.

 

There is now extensive research to show us the positive impact regular journaling, in its many forms, has on our mental health, well-being, personal development, stress levels and ability to learn and grow from experiences. Scientific studies detail how regularly writing down your thoughts improves your ability to be present, helps improve your memory and sleep, builds your resilience and improves your self-confidence.

 

One common barrier to journaling is ‘I don’t know what to write’. Rest assured, there is no ‘wrong’ way. Take confidence in knowing that the words are for your eyes only. Even disposing of the page after you’ve captured your thoughts is reported to have the same benefits as keeping a notebook safe.

 

You may be surprised by the flow of pen to paper once you accept that it doesn’t necessarily matter what you write. Whatever and however you write will be beneficial and help you clear your mind for your day ahead.

 

If you’re still on the fence, consider these benefits to help you get you started:

  1. Reduces stress, overwhelm and anxiety - The process of writing helps make our thoughts manageable. Just like sharing a problem with a friend, writing helps make sense of a busy mind and enables you to see clearer. Often things don’t seem as scary when they are written down in front of us.

 

  1. Supports your overall well-being - On so many levels, journaling supports your well-being practices. The process of putting pen to paper in itself is an act of self care, as is taking time to dedicate writing down your thoughts.

 

  1. Creates order - We have between 12k-60k thoughts a day. That is a lot to carry around with us. Rather than carrying this burden, journaling helps offload, download, build a to-do list, prioritise, organise and plan. This helps move closer to your goals and visions.

 

  1. Promotes self-enquiry and problem solving - Journaling provides a tool for examining your thoughts. With them laid out on the page, you’re able to get curious. You can use questions to deepen your understanding and gain further insights. This is where prompts are a great partner to journaling to help you change perspectives and speak to yourself with kindness, as you would a friend.

 

  1. Enables personal growth - When regularly writing down your thoughts, you can begin to notice themes and patterns. Taking the time to reflect enables you to develop a greater understanding and deeper awareness of yourself. Awareness is the starting point of creating any change.

There are many different journaling techniques, and if you’re keen to get started and experience these benefits mentioned here, why not start with Wild Writing? Write openly and freely with whatever is on your mind and see where the pen takes you.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Gemma Brown is a personal and business coach who helps individuals and businesses find authenticity, purpose and direction through 1-2-1 and group coaching. She is a well-being advocate, helping clients prioritise a well-being routine that is uniquely theirs. For more information, visit www.gemmabrowncoaching.co.uk or email gemmabrowncoaching@gmail.com.