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The Amazing Benefits of a Journaling Habit

The best thing you can do is teach people to write, because there is no difference between that and thinking.
Jordan Peterson

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” 
Ferris Bueller

I have been journaling on and off ever since high school and I have been practicing it more consistently in the last couple of years. Intuitively I always understood that a journaling habit is good for me, but I was interested to know a bit more. I did some research into the topic and was amazed by what I found.

Keeping a journal is good for you BIGTIME

Leonardo's notebook

Many famous historical figures were avid note takers. Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the greatest artists and intellectuals of Italian Renaissance. Leonardo’s legacy has been preserved in more than 7000 pages of notes and illustrations. However, judging just by the sheer volume of notes left behind for posterity to study, Thomas Edison seriously outperformed Leonardo. Edison the famous inventor wrote more than 5 million pages of notes. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explored the American West between May 1804 and September 1806 and documented their journey in eighteen small notebooks. Frida Kahlo the Mexican artist is well known for her very vivid imagery in her diaries. I am now limited by the space and time available, yet there are countless other successful people who were dedicated to recording their thoughts in their journals such as Marie Curie the Nobel Prize winning physicist who studied radioactivity, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin, Marcus Aurelius the Roman Emperor, Franz Kafka, Winston Churchill, and the list goes on and on. By keeping a journal you are in very good company!

IQ

A daily journaling practice can stretch your intelligence. Think of journaling as an exploration of language. As you work to express yourself you are experimenting with new phrases and discovering new words. There is a correlation between intelligence and vocabulary. By stretching your vocabulary, you also develop your IQ.

Authoring a diary also improves your communication skills. Writing has a crucial connection to speaking. By practicing writing you improve your verbal skills as well.

Writing a journal evokes mindfulness and there is a strong connection between mindfulness and happiness. Journaling also helps enable self-reflection. It helps us stop, step back and reflect; to capture our life's story. It helps track and reveal important patterns and cycles.

The habit of daily journaling can also boost your emotional intelligence. This is accomplished in two ways. First, by developing your ability to perceive and manage your emotions. Second, because journals can function as an outlet for your emotions.

It can help you heal. I don't mean healing only in a mental or psychological sense. When we translate an experience into language, we essentially make the experience graspable and through that we are able to deal with the experience. This emotional release will lower your anxiety, lower your stress levels which can lead to better sleep.

Creativity

A daily journaling routine is also an excellent way to spark your creativity. The issue is not so much whether we are creative or not. The question is how we let that creativity flow. Through journaling you can create that flow.

Writing a diary is excellent for boosting your self-confidence. This is achieved by reaffirming positive experiences, by creating a catalog of personal achievements that you can continue to go back to and reflect on. 

It also strengthens self-discipline. Discipline is like a muscle. When you develop the discipline of keeping a daily journal you are exercising this muscle. Over time you will start to be able to utilize this muscle in other parts of your life as well.

An unexpected benefit of journaling I found was how it helps us achieve our goals. When you write in your diary, you will often include thoughts about your dreams and aspirations. As you write about your dreams you are developing your psychological blueprint for your goals. Each time you write about your goals this blueprint becomes better and better, thus sharpening your focus and getting you closer to achieving those goals.

Finally journaling boosts your brain by forcing your mind to compose and recompose ideas. That is an excellent mind exercise.

My hope is that this post has sparked your interest in the habit of keeping a daily journal, or if you already practice the habit, it has given you further reasons to stick with the discipline.

Open journal with a pen.
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