I’ve been keeping my daily Raising Jane Journal for almost five years now,
so I feel I have some authority to say,
But don’t just take my word for it.
“University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes. Other research indicates that journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health,” reports PsychCentral.com. “Scientific evidence supports that journaling provides other unexpected benefits. The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit, and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others, and the world around you.”
You can find 96 more reasons to journal here.
Good stuff, I tell you. My mother wrote in her journal (several volumes) most every day of her life, some days only a sentence or two. But, what a treasure to leave her children.
The new year is the perfect time to start jotting a journal. Yes, you! It won’t do to hide your head in the sand.
Journaling is not another insurmountable task to add to your to-do list. In fact, it’s a wonderful way to tackle life with more merriment and less moping. According to a study published in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, journaling just 15 to 20 minutes on five occasions was enough to help the participants deal with traumatic, stressful, or otherwise emotional events.
So, let’s get down to the basics:
- Creativity is not required (unless you crave it). Art journaling may evolve from your writing routine, but that’s another entry …
- Eloquent writing skills and proper spelling aren’t necessary, either.
- How about reserving a nice notebook for journaling only, something you’re eager to pick up. This year I’m started a Bee Journal as I journey into being a beekeeper.
- Try to write a little—or a lot—every day. Whether it’s a single sentence vent (“This day has been CRAZY because …”) or a long meander down memory lane, or like me, I usually write about my fascination with people and things outside my personal world. Just pencil in a time each day to let your thoughts flow on paper.
- You don’t have to be nice, but penning positive notes brightens your day.
- Don’t give up if you miss a day or two. Just start again.
- If you aren’t a fan of writing, you can still reap the benefits of journaling. The University of Rochester suggests substituting with a video or audio journal on your phone.
For a little more inspiration, here’s a video pep talk about the joys of journaling: