Journaling: The Best Medicine

September 27, 2021 3 min read

Journaling: The Best Medicine

Intro:

Do you have trouble sleeping? Would you like to retain more from lectures? Have you ever been so mad at someone you considered learning the Imperious Curse? While the notion of hexes may excite your passions, allow us to introduce an alternative that has proven to be far more effective: journaling. The practice of journaling is thousands of years old (if not more) and has numerous clinical studies on its ability to increase overall well-being in everyone from school aged children to pensioners.

A Healthy Dose of Pen to Paper Will Boost Intelligence, Expand Vocabulary, and Increase Cognitive Functions:

We journal to record. To recognize what we are feeling. To refine what we think. Extensive studies have shown when students journal over long spans of time they begin to seek out new ways to express themselves. Improved grammar and sentence structure as well heightened vocabulary and reading comprehension are naturally developed as you figure out what you want to say. The great thing about journaling is that you are only writing for you. Don’t worry about being ‘right’ or ‘good’ or even ‘sensical.’ Journaling will look different for everyone; the important thing is to be honest with yourself about what you want out of it and what you are willing to put in.

Should you decide to journal, you can explore personal improvements like identifying and articulating your emotions, and improving verbal communication skills. You’ll gain insight into your own thought process and have a safe place to deal with taboo topics like ‘anger’ and ‘envy’. By learning about yourself and being frank with what you discover, you are positioned to examine pros and cons of other ideas you come in contact with.

Take Out the Trash-Manage Stress, Anxiety and Depression:

Through his lifelong research, Dr. James Pennebaker found that reducing the impact of stressors allows the immune system to better fight disease. With that in mind, journaling has been found to combat everything from low self-esteem to depression. When confronted with conflict, taking time to focus your thoughts enough to involve pen and paper allows for distance from the infraction. Release those pent-up frustrations, let go of negative thoughts and calm yourself by confronting what ails you. Expressing yourself through pen and paper has been found to clear the mind and make ready those spaces for other tasks.

Have you ever fixated on something so much your mind can't stop racing? Join the club. Instead of festering about it, try writing it down. If you are holding onto bitter words meant for a cohort, put it on the page. Don’t hold back. Lay down such a screed as would make your target wilt! Say exactly what your wounded soul must express. Then take a breath and see if things are as bad as you thought they were. Odds are you will feel pounds lighter once you have exercised those muscles, and nobody is worse for wear. As Anne Frank noted, “Paper is more patient than people.”

The ‘how’ of why journaling works is not perfectly understood but we know it is a combination of at least four mechanisms: Emotional confrontation, cognitive processing, repeated sessions and to a lesser extent; catharsis. Simply confronting a fear reduces its power over you. When you make authentic efforts to examine the topic, perspective and understanding are gleaned. Repeating these sessions can lead to diminished control of the fear as we become more able to deal with it.

Defeat Fear, Attack Boredom, Ignite Curiosity-Investigate Yourself:

The last 20 years has seen a vast improvement on how we measure the benefits of journaling, and the results are stunning. Student or not, scientists have found that journaling for just 20 minutes a day can provide numerous benefits like deeper understanding, greater perspective and expanded emotional intelligence. In fact, recent studies have shown as much as 25% improved retention in students who reflected via journaling at the end of the day. It is also known to improve self-image, focus and confidence.

One of the coolest parts about journaling is the ability to go back and look at what you wrote. When reviewing your uninhibited ramblings, you will see themes arise. It's almost as if Google Analytics did an SEO search of you; what would it find? How often are you thinking of hazards, loves, food poisoning? Having the ability to go back and assess the thoughts you collected gives insight to what you are dwelling on. It is up to you to face ‘why’.

 

Continue your journaling journey or get started today with any of our great paper products. As always, be noteworthy.

 



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