To-do lists, meeting notes, and reminders are the kinds of things that, if you're like most people, you'll only jot down when it's really necessary to do so. However, keeping a notebook and using it as a means to vent and express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions can be a habit that fundamentally alters your life.
If you're not used to doing it, writing every day can be a difficult task. It demands patience and dedication, much like the practice of meditation does. But if you commit yourself to doing it, it has the potential to significantly improve your life.
1.A journal can help you clarify your ideas and feelings, which is one of the unexpected benefits of keeping one.
Keeping a journal over a period of time enables one to see and record recurring patterns, trends, and improvements. When faced with challenges that seem insurmountable at the moment, it might be helpful to reflect on earlier obstacles that you have conquered and draw wisdom from those experiences.
It's also possible that you'll have times when you feel perplexed and unsure about how you're really feeling. You are able to have access to your internal world and have a better understanding of the situation if you write them down.
Anne Nelson, a highly regarded journalist and author of the soon-to-be-released book "Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right," relates that she is frequently asked if she suffers when writing on contentious topics. Her response is invariably negative.
Should I journal in bed?
She explained that when she did anything correctly, she experienced a profound sense of satisfaction. "It's the feeling when I've expressed something in writing that I couldn't explain to myself before I started," the author once said. "It's the feeling of accomplishment."
2. It can hasten the process of healing any wounds you may have.
A study conducted in 2013 found that 76% of adults who spent 50 to 20 minutes writing about their thoughts and feelings for three consecutive days two weeks before a medically necessary biopsy were fully healed 11 days after the procedure. This may sound a little crazy, but the results of the study were found to be accurate. In the meantime, 58% of those who were in the control group had not completely recovered.
According to Elizabeth Broadbent, a professor of medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and a co-author of the study, speaking to Scientific American about the findings, "We think writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress, thus helping the body to heal faster."
3. It has the potential to boost your ability to solve problems.
When you are faced with a challenging issue, taking the problem out of your head and writing it down on paper will enable you to examine the situation from a variety of perspectives and generate a number of potential answers in a manner that is more methodical.
Students who wrote about their arithmetic issues in a journal (for example, describing the problem and writing about how they came up with the answer) had considerably increased test results over time, according to a research that was published in 1985 by the School Science and Mathematics Association.
4. It can aid in the healing process following traumatic situations.
There are no guidelines that dictate how you should write or what you should write about. Writing that is creative, such as fiction or poetry, can also be a sort of journaling, and it can assist you in moving over unpleasant situations by providing you with an outlet for your emotions.
According to Jessica Lourey, a tenured writing professor, sociologist, and author of 15 books, including "Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction," writing creatively enables you to craft a coherent narrative and shifting perspective. One of her books is titled "Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction."
When I am successful, I am filled with a profound sense of contentment. It's the feeling I get when I've finally been able to describe something in writing that I couldn't even explain to myself before I started.
Anne Nelson is a journalist as well as a published author.
After the death of her spouse, Lourey stated that she could not bear to relive the agony of the catastrophe by recording her thoughts and feelings in a journal. She claimed this since she had just lost her husband. In a post that she penned for Psychology Today, she explained that she "needed to convert it, package it, and ship it off." She was able to heal more quickly by rewriting her life to fit a fictitious story, which helped her since it gave her the opportunity to become "a spectator to life's fiercest seas."
Leila Cobo, a journalist and novelist, is of the same opinion. She found that writing fiction was really beneficial to her, to the point where she now incorporates it into her daily routine. "It gives me the freedom to express anything in any way that I see fit. She described it as "the most fantastic feeling there is." "Depending on the day, I write in the wee hours of the morning or late into the night. And as soon as I'm in, I'm in for good."
How to get things rolling.
Researchers have found that keeping a journal for at least fifteen minutes a day, three to five times a week can considerably enhance both a person's physical and mental health. While some people are able to write for hours at a time, the majority of people will benefit by keeping a journal.
If you've never kept a diary before, the most straightforward method to get started is to choose a time and a location where you won't be interrupted and then simply begin writing. (If you're writing for yourself and no one else, you don't need to care about correct spelling or punctuation.)
If you are at a loss for what to write about, the following are some suggestions:
Write about something (or someone) that holds a very special place in your heart.
Describe in writing three things for which you are thankful today, along with the reasons why.
Create a piece of writing in which you give the younger version of yourself some advice.
Describe in writing a problem that you are currently facing and the potential solutions there are to that problem.
Write down ten things about yourself that you think other people should know.
Include in your essay at least one accomplishment from this past year that you are very pleased with.
Write down 10 things that you would agree to and 10 things that you would disagree with.
Deepak Chopra is the co-author of "The Healing Self," the creator of Jiyo and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, and the founder of The Chopra Foundation. He also founded these organizations.
Author Kabir Sehgal has achieved the status of a New York Times best-seller. He served in the United States Navy, was a recipient of multiple Grammy Awards, and was a vice president at JPMorgan Chase in the past. Chopra and Sehgal are the brains behind the program Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome, which was motivated by the experiences of immigrants in the United States.
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