Keeping a journal has been in practice for hundreds of years because of the benefits the habit brings. Queen Victoria kept a journal for over 70 years and Dublin born Oscar Wilde stated: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”
I call journalling a ‘love letter’ to yourself because when we start writing, we soon discover that we need that ‘love letter’. Every relationship that we have in our lives radiates with the ripples of whether we love ourselves or not. And I don’t mean in a narcissistic or self-absorbed way, but in a healthy, honest and self-reflective way.
When you journal, you access the left hemisphere of the brain (the logical analytical side) which leaves the right hemisphere of the brain free to create, feel and intuit situations. Consequently, your whole brain is engaged.Journaling has been found to reduce stress, help to get a better perspective on situations and help you to know yourself better. Buy a special journal for yourself and keep it somewhere private.
You need the freedom to express yourself, make notes from sessions and reflect on issues that arise. Often, you will be able to clarify what you are thinking, how you are feeling and identify the next steps to be taken in any situation. Put aside 20 minutes every day to write something. I usually start off with a ‘brain dump’ which is very quickly writing every idea that comes to mind. Very quickly you will see patterns in how you think, the behaviour that stems from those thoughts and the consequences of those actions. Start today, you will be glad you did.