The death of ink to paper is not upon us just yet. Here are three reasons why traditional journal writing can help reinvigorate your mind.
With her busy working schedule Barbara had limited time to sit down and write. With an app for this and that she found it much easier to express her thoughts and take notes via keyboard. Social media was her blood sister. Barbara didn’t see a need for a diary anymore; that was, until she unearthed some of the incredible paybacks that journaling offered.
What benefits did Barbara uncover? What were these advantages she had been skipping over?
I will answer these questions shortly. In the meantime, lets discuss the concept of journaling.
What is journaling?
Journaling is the process of scripting your thoughts and feelings for the purpose of reflection, self-evaluation, and discovery. Often recommended by therapists and councillors, it is a tried and tested method which many famous people throughout history have also taken part of. In fact, George Washington and Ronald Reagan were known for their journaling.
Understanding the power of journaling, and according to the Writer’s Digest, 19th century playwright Oscar Wilde was once quoted on the importance of his journal;
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train”.
Journaling has traditionally been linked to therapeutic benefits which include sparking creativity, reducing stress and anxiety, and helping to process life in general.
Just like our Empowering Ambitious Women friend Barbara, if social media has been your go-to for letting it out, take note of these three ways journaling can help get you what you want.
Three proven ways journaling can help
See for yourself – research proves just how good journaling can be for you.
#1 Journaling improves mental health
Research suggests that writing about traumatic, emotional, or stressful encounters can improve physical and psychological health. It was found that journaling can be used as a therapeutic tool for survivors of trauma and in psychiatric environments. 
#2 Journaling boosts problem solving
Problem solving and troubleshooting typically comes from a left-brained, analytical perspective. Often we only find the solution by engaging our right-brained creativity and intuition side. Writing comes from the latter side and unlocks these capabilities. By writing, you give yourself the power to solve unexpected or generally “unsolvable” conundrums. 
Once sitting back and reflecting, writing can also help see a point of view from another perspective. This in turn promotes problem solving or understanding of a third–party.
#3 Journaling improves work efficiency
According to a paper out of Harvard Business School, journaling can increase your productivity. In their study, researchers found a 22.8 percent increase in performance levels to those who did not use a journal. HBS professor Francesca Gino said that reflection through journaling leads to increased performance. 
“It’s just a matter of making an appointment with yourself to reflect on the day’s successes so you can incorporate those lessons into the next day.
Writing helps “codify” the things you’ve gone through. It’s very easy to deceive yourself if you’re just thinking about it. But, when you write things down on paper it’s easier to identify what’s helpful”, she said.
How to start journaling
Journaling has an armful of benefits, some of which are scientifically proven and others more subjective. But to experience any of the advantages you must firstly make yourself a candidate for success.
Following are three tips to help get you get started.
#1 The journal
Choose a journal that will work well for you. The size, layout, format (dates or no dates, lines or no lines), etc, is all determined by personal taste. What are you more comfortable working with?
#2 Time for writing
Put time aside to write. Whether you write daily, weekly, or every second day, be consistent. Try to stick to a similar time of the day each time you write as this will give you an even reflection. However, it is important to remember that writing is therapy and if you feel the urge to write – just go for it!
Barbara said that 20 minutes before bed worked well for her. Writing fast also helps to ensure that you capture your first thoughts without over-editing yourself.
A journal is no use keeping if you are not reading and reflecting.
Make a process of going back over your thoughts and feelings once in a while. Use this time as self-evaluation. How are you travelling towards that goal you mentioned? Have you improved on what you were hoping? If not, is there something you could do to improve the situation? Write it down.
Barbara said that journaling has increased her self-awareness. It gives her motivation to work towards goals as she feels more accountable for her actions.
Paper to pen is not dead. It is a proven remedy that many people are missing out on, and one of those people could be you!
Looking for a great journal to get started? Check out these gorgeous options I found online at kikki.K.
Do you keep a journal? What have you found to be ultra-advantageous? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a message below.
- Cambridge University Press: Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, Karen A. Baikie and Kay Wilhelm
- Psych Central: The health benefits of journaling, Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP
- Business Insider Australia: This 15-minute activity will make you more successful at work, Drake Baer