The Surprising Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is simply the act of thinking about your life and writing it down. That’s it, nothing more is needed.  Despite its simplicity, the daily journal has played a key role in the careers of many prolific people.

As you might expect, journaling is a favorite habit of many writers; from Mark Twain to Virginia Woolf.  A journal was rarely far from any of these artists. Susan Sontag once claimed that her journal was where she “created herself.” Journaling has been utilized by scores of brilliant thinkers and inventors – Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Throughout history, leaders and politicians such as George Washington and Winston Churchill have kept journals in one form or another. In the sporting world, athletes like Katie Ledecky, winner of multiple gold medals, and Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder in the marathon, rely on journals to reflect on their daily workouts and improve their training.

Here are some of the benefits among many:

Journaling sharpens your memory

Journaling can often provide the ‘who, what, when, and why’ that your memory can often blur in time. Just think how nice it would be to flip back and see those exact details written down for you. It can also offer you the frank and unvarnished portrait of yourself at that point in time. What were your thoughts at 26? 50?  It has the capability to bring you right back.

Journaling can motivate you to make the most of each day

Knowing that a feeling or event is being recorded should encourage you to want to make each day something to write about before the sunrise or after the sun goes down… 

Journaling provides proof of your progress

With writing thoughts down each day and recording the great things that happen in your life, you have something to reflect on when you are feeling down. When you are having a difficult day, it can be easy to forget how far you’ve come.  A journal is a great way of getting perspective so you can then look back and reflect on all the growth you’ve done over the months and years.

There is no one right way to journal but one of the biggest challenges of journaling is doing it as a consecutive habit.  Consider starting small, even if it is just writing one sentence each day.  One word of gratitude that day, one word to express your feelings, something, anything!

Below are some journaling prompts to get you started today, so grab a pen and a piece of paper and try writing something down.

  • What happened today? 
  • What am I grateful for today?
  • What is my most important task today?
  • How do I feel today? 

Your journal can be for you and you alone and keeping this in mind can make you feel impossibly free to pour your authentic self onto the page. Give a try! All you have to lose is a few minutes of your time, and you already know all you could gain.

A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Lauralee or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.

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