Back in middle school, I had a “secret” diary. It was pink, had glitter all over it, and yes, had a lock and key. I would write about all about my day, my crush, and about my Jonas Brothers obsession. I found it in my attic over the summer, broke into the lock, read the contents, and had myself a good laugh. Thank goodness my awkward days are over (right…?) Anyway, my walk down memory lane got me thinking – maybe I should start keeping a journal again. As a graduate student, graduate assistant, and part-time adult, there are always a million thoughts running through my head everyday. Maybe keeping a journal will allow me to organize those thoughts into something less chaotic. Out of curiosity, I did some research on the benefits of keeping a journal. Check it out!
1. Memory Boost
Recent studies show that using pen and paper to write things down boosts memory. It allows our brain to retain concepts and understand them. You end up engaging in a stronger cognitive recall.
2. Comfort and Healing
You can heal yourself emotionally, physically, and psychologically by writing in a journal. Studies have found that it can lower anxiety, reduce the tendency to overthink, and decrease stress. Try journaling before bed to get a more restful night’s sleep.
3. Be a Better Problem Solver
Ever feel like a problem you’re facing just can’t be solved? Sometimes we need a little help from the right side of our brain – the one that controls our creativity and intuition. By writing things down, the right side of our brain kicks in and expands our ideas and the possible solutions to our problems.
4. Achieve your Goals
By writing down your dreams, goals, and ambitions, you are telling your brain, “Hey! This is important!” Then, your reticular activating system (RAS) is able to monitor opportunities that will allow you to achieve your goals. It’s almost like a blueprint for success!
5. Feel More Zen
Journaling your thoughts allows you to enter a state of mindfulness. Studies have shown that there is a strong connection with being mindful and being happy. You’re able to ease your frustrations and reduce any future anxieties.