Journaling Can Change Your Life – Dramatically
Do you journal? Researchers have proven that writing about your life can actually change your life. Dramatically. Something that has been around for thousands of years, “expressive writing,” which is journaling specifically on something upsetting/traumatic, such as a job loss, sickness of a loved one, or conflict with a significant other can lead to significant improvements in both mental and physical health.
People who journalled for just 20 minutes a day healed from wounds faster, improved their GPAs, and boosted their immune systems, all with no side effects. Why does it work? Psychologist and expressive writing researcher says, “Writing about an emotionally charged subject or an unresolved trauma helps you put the event into perspective and give some structure and organization to those anxious feelings, which ultimately helps you get through it … [T]his can help people sleep better, feel and think better, and have richer social lives, all of which can bolster immune function and improve health.”
Want to start journaling? Here are a few things to keep in mind if you do take up journaling this year: (from
1. Do it by hand – Writing by hand stimulates the part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS), and science shows that using the RAS regularly helps you increase your ability to focus. Writing by hand helps to keep your mind sharp.
2. Keep it private and don’t edit – Write quickly and without “thinking” too much — the point is to get your thoughts and feelings out with no judgment.
3. Get a journal you really like – You’ll be spending time with this item, so get one you love. Find an inspiring image or quote that uplifts you every time you see it.
4. Write daily for 15-20 minutes – Like meditating, you’ll get the most benefits from journaling by doing it consistently and for long enough.
If you do choose to take the plunge, know that simply the act of journaling is making you stronger and boosting your vitality. You are taking action to elevate your physical, emotional, and possibly even spiritual health … which will lead to a very happy new year indeed.