Also referred to as expressive writing, The practice of journaling goes back hundreds of years with the earliest known example being the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Practicing the art journaling your thoughts and activities has been found to have a very beneficial effects on everything from your memory, your organization and yes, even your health. Journaling has so many powerful and positive effects on us and especially on our health. For starters, journaling increases the body’s production of T cells, the cells designed to fight and destroy disease in the body.
In fact, journaling about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has proven to result in improved physical and psychological health. These benefits are numerous and supported by numerous studies and journals. I encourage you to research them for yourself and learn more.
Some of the amazing health benefits and outcomes
- Lowers stress related visits to the doctor. (According to the Center for disease control CDC, stress is now the number one delivery system for disease in America)
- Improved immune system functioning
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved lung function
- Improved liver function
- Fewer days in the hospital and greater postoperative outcomes
- Improved mood
- Feeling greater psychological well-being
- Reduced depression
- Fewer posttraumatic intrusion and avoidance symptoms
- Improve social and behavioral outcomes
- Reduced absenteeism from work
- Improve memory
- Quicker reemployment after Job loss
- Higher student grade-point average
- Better sports performance
- Better emotional health outcomes
- Reduction in pain intensity
- Improved body image and esteem
- Greater mobility with arthritis
- Faster wound healing
And this is just a partial list! And as if that’s not enough, journaling also helps us to;
- Stretch our IQ
- Evoke mindfulness
- Achieve goals
- Increase our emotional intelligence EQ
- Boost memory and comprehension
- Strengthen self- discipline
- Improve communication skills
- It helps us heal emotionally and physically
- Sparks creativity
- Raises self-confidence
Famous People Who Kept Journals
Also, as an Expressive Writer you will be joining some pretty impressive company, here is a short list of some pretty famous people who kept or keep a journal;
Ludwig van Beethoven
John D. Rockefeller
Lewis and Clark
Leonardo Da Vinci
Many US Presidents, political figures and successful business and social leaders also kept journals.
Researchers say that it is the act of writing itself that delivers these and other benefits, putting a pen to paper, good old-fashioned cursive writing. Journaling stimulates the area of the brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which filters and brings clarity to the fore on the information we are focusing on. It is a subjective process that causes us to focus and keeps us organized. While the left side or analytical side of the brain is engaged in writing it leaves the right creative side to do what it does best create, Intuit and feel!
I urge you to find or make time to journal often. I find early mornings to be best for me. Experiment and be patient until you find what works best for you.
Now, before you put this Journal down, go ahead and make your very first entry!