From me to everyone. Happy always and in the spirit of new beginnings
“We will open the journal. The pages are blank. We are going to put the words on them ourselves.” My journal is called Courage and its first chapter is New Years Day
According to this article in Huffington Post and every leadership coach I know journaling is the latest scientifically proven therapy for Happiness.
There’s a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness. Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment. It calls a wandering mind to attention, from passivity to actively engaging with your thoughts.
Journaling often includes your dreams and ambitions, yet the idea that scribbled words can help achieve goals is understandably fanciful. But consider building a house without a blueprint. That makes more sense.
and its good Brain Food
Writing goals signals to your brain “this is important.” Your reticular activating system (RAS) then flags relevant opportunities and tools to achieve that goal. More detailed goals provide a psychological blueprint, and increases the likelihood of achieving them.
There’s a unique relationship between the hand and brain, sparked by the composition of thoughts and ideas. Words are representations of ideas; the formation of letters and causes the mind to compose or re-compose ideas while journaling. This strengthens previously covered information and forces you to engage in cognitive recall.
and its good for your Heart
Being able to get on the same page with someone is a mark of emotional intelligence, and allows for a much deeper connection. Journaling is an outlet for processing emotions and increases self-awareness. This internal familiarity becomes a bridge of empathy, you’ll better intuit and understand what others are experiencing.
and inspires you to clean your House
Setting time aside to write, whether morning or evening, is an act of discipline. And discipline begets discipline. Like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And habits formed in one area of life have a tendency to spread; as keeping your office clean leads to keeping the bedroom tidy, your daily practice of writing will domino onto other healthy habits.
and its good for your Soul
Expressive writing is a route to healing — emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Dr. James Pennebaker, author of Writing to Heal has seen improved immune function in participants of writing exercises. Stress often comes from emotional blockages, and overthinking hypotheticals. He explains, “When we translate an experience into language we essentially make the experience graspable.” And in doing so, you free yourself from mentally being tangled in traumas. Studies have also shown that the emotional release from journaling lowers anxiety, stress, and induces better sleep.
and sparks your Creativity
Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” has become the panacea for unlocking creativity amongst anyone and everyone. Our struggle isn’t whether we’re creative, it’s how to let it flow. Her powerful tool is simply to write without thinking — “stream of consciousness” writing. Beyond overcoming writer’s block, stream of consciousness writing brings out thoughts and ideas you never knew you had in you, and loosens up your expressive muscles. She recommends three pages, done first thing in the morning. Including even one page as part of your journaling will get your creative juices flowing.
and builds your Self-Confidence
Journaling about a positive experience allows your brain to relive it. And reaffirms your abilities when the ugly head of self-doubt appears. The release of endorphins and dopamine will boost your self-esteem and mood. These reflections can become a catalog of personal achievements that you continue to go back to.
As you work to incorporate journaling into your life, remember the elephant is best eaten one bite at a time. Patience and consistency are crucial in forming new habits. Begin writing perhaps three days a week, first thing in the morning or before sleeping.
Look forward to you sharing with me what your 2018 journal is called.
HT to Edith Lovejoy Pierce for giving me the opportunity to paraphrase her words