Reasons to Write: Journaling Benefits & Ways to Journal

Interested in journaling? Learn all the ways to journal & the many journaling benefits that improve your mental & physical health!

When was the last time you sat down to journal? For most, it’s not a regular activity. Days get busy, and the idea of sitting down to write about how busy you are seems counterintuitive. But studies have shown that taking time to engage in journaling benefits your life in several ways. So how can you enjoy the benefits of keeping a journal in a way that works for you and your schedule?

Are There Different Ways to Journal?

First, consider that not all journaling looks alike. If you’re not someone who likes to sit down and pour your thoughts onto the page, a ‘dear diary’ journal likely isn’t your speed. That doesn’t mean you can’t journal. This practice can take many forms, from bullet points to lists and even streams of consciousness.

And journaling doesn’t have to take a long time. Devoting as little as 15 minutes a week to journaling can lead to more efficiency and productivity during the week ahead. Since it gives you the opportunity to establish your targets, you’ll waste less time wondering what to do next.

No matter which method of journaling you choose, you’ll recognize that over time it enhances your clarity, ability to set and track goals, and creates a healthy outlet to relieve stress. Let’s cover all the benefits of journaling and ways you can begin the practice.

What Are the Health Benefits of Journaling?

A healthy mindset is crucial to one’s overall health. When your mindset is burdened with chaotic or negative thoughts, it can be difficult to process and relieve things like stress and anxiety. Unchecked, prolonged stress can lead to all sorts of negative health effects. One of the most important journaling benefits is that it  gives you a space to unload those worries before they build in unhealthy ways.

Some of the mental and health benefits of keeping a journal include:

  • Increased IQ
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Enhanced ability to heal both physically and emotionally
  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Emotional clarity

Engaging in a journal practice allows you to see and sort through issues from a new perspective. Writing things down and reading them back to yourself gives you a second pass to note flaws in your reasoning as well as areas where you can grow. Even when you’re not journaling about your feelings, and you’re simply listing out things you’re grateful for or taking notes on the happenings of your day, you are still establishing a healthier environment for your mental wellbeing.

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What Are 3 Different Methods to Help You Enjoy Journaling Benefits?

Even if you’ve been journaling for years, it can be fun to explore different forms of the practice. Check out these helpful ways to engage in daily journaling.

1. Bullet Notes Journaling

Can you really benefit from bullet points? Absolutely! The ease of this method is a huge part of the draw. Instead of worrying about how to structure your thoughts, just start bullet pointing. You can even give yourself some direction with a prompt to make it easier.

For example, ask yourself questions like what the highlights and challenges of your day were, or what changes you’d like to make this year. You can also use these bullet points as lists to help yourself stay organized on daily or weekly tasks and goals.

2. Gratitude Journaling

What are a few things that you’re grateful for? That’s the essential question behind gratitude journaling. Once a week, take ten minutes to write about your positive experiences and whatever you feel thankful for. It could be a stranger who held the door open for you, or something kind a friend said.

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook our blessings. This deliberate act of documenting the good aspects of your life will help reframe your mindset and improve your overall mental health. If you’re having a bad day, that’s a great time to invest in the benefits of gratitude journaling.

3. Stream of Consciousness Journaling

No editing. Just release whatever you’re thinking or feeling onto the page. If you’re someone who finds themselves hesitant to speak up, this form of journaling can be your place to work through that tendency and all the thoughts you’re holding back. That’s one of the benefits of journaling for stress management; it provides a healthy release. Studies have shown that using this kind of journaling to work through emotional traumas, even in one-time journaling sessions, can improve your wellbeing and outlook.

Now that you know all the ways journaling benefits your overall health and wellness, it’s time to hop on the trend! Get custom journals or notebooks – such as the ones pictured below – and pass them out to family, employees, and clients. (Tip: Pair your journals with personalized pens or pencils!) These notebooks allow everyone in your circle to experience the positive effects of journaling.

Continue reading with these related blog posts and infographics from National Pen:

Jessica Carreiro

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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