The Benefits of Daily Journal Writing

Dr. James W. Pennebaker has been researching and documenting the benefits of journal writing for over 20 years. Dr. Pennebaker is the author of several books and has conducted various studies. For years he has been asking his patients to record their deepest feelings about an emotional upheaval for 20 minutes a day for four days. And for years he has seen his patients improve their immune systems, their grades, and even changed their lives entirely.

Dr. Pennebaker believes that when someone has a traumatic experience our minds strive to understand what has happened. To do this he believes our minds must work extra hard to process the experience. While the brain with working extra hard to process the events we try to continue on with our lives and this can cause problems at work, at night, and with our relationships with others.

By writing our feelings we translate experiences into words which makes helps our brain to comprehend them. Dr. Pennebaker has seen how writing has lead to better sleep, has increased the ability to think about more thing that one at a time, and has improved social connections.

By writing in a journal each has numerous benefits and Dr. Pennebaker is not the only researcher who believes writing in a journal has health benefits. This is because writing accesses the analytical and rational left brain keeping it busy leaving the right brain free to create and use brainpower to understand your feelings.

Get Started and Enjoy the Benefits of Journal Writing

To enjoy the benefits of journal writing all you need to do is start writing. There are many ways you can approach this. If you have something in mind that you wish to accomplish by journaling then journal to meet that goal. There are many different types of journals that you can have and do what is best for you. Remember to keep it simple though. The more complicated you try to make your journal the more difficult it will be to do it and the more stress that it will cause you. Below are some different ways that you can approach journaling, you can include all of then in your daily writing and or you can pick and choose how you want to focus your writing.

Emotional Journaling

As mentioned above you can seek to understand your emotions and improve other's emotions around you. Write your inner most emotions. Often these will be very private and you may not even share them with yourself. If you struggle with writing things thoughts down find a way to keep the writings very private and a way to ensure that no one will read it so that you will feel safe to write and explore your true feelings. You may want to have a separate journal for this if that is the case.

Gratitude Journaling

You can record the things that you are grateful for. Many people recommend that you buy a journal for this specifically but it may be easier just to record your gratitude in a journal along with others things like your emotions, experiences, and daily events. Remember you don't want to add a stress to your life, you want to make it as easy as possible.

Benefits Of Journal Writing

  • Thought Clarity
  • Self Discovery
  • Peace of Mind
  • Problem Solving
  • Clarity of Aspirations
  • Better Memory

Memory Journaling

This is writing towards remember the events of your day. At the end of each day record the events that occurred. Rethink through your day and record it down. This will not only improve your memory and help you to recall events in your life it will help you to calm down and enjoy your live by reliving the activities of the day. This is great to incorporate into gratitude journaling which will help you focus on the positives at the end of each day and increase your overall satisfaction level.

Goal Journaling

This is writing towards reaching your goals. Be honest with yourselves and evaluate your successes and failures. Its up to you how specific and often you have this type of focus but it will improve you life and help you reach your goals.

Diary of Anne Frank on display in Berlin
Diary of Anne Frank on display in Berlin | Source

Journaling for Prosperity

This is recording your life for your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It seems that there are not many current benefits for this but there are. You will look at yourself through a different lens and gain a deeper understanding of yourself. Also your children will love to have this many years from now.

Anne Frank's dairy is an example of a journal that was left behind for us to cherish many years after her death. She may not have been writing for all of us but her writings have allowed us to understand what it was like to live in very difficult times and circumstances.

Journaling is can also be very fun. You can buy a very journal or make one. You can type on your computer or simply blog. But many actually have a journal that you can hold in your hands and write it.

You can actually even make a journal for yourself and have it as a keepsake. This will add additional meaning for you as well.

All in all writing in a journal everyday has great benefits. As I have recorded in my journal each day I have seen my life change and I have enjoyed it very much. It is not easy to do but it is worth it. So good luck and I hope it can make a difference in your life.

How often do you write in your journal?

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2 comments

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

I have found journal writing to be helpful in my life, both in working through my emotions, and in expressing gratitude. Each day before I write, I go back and read a previous entry. This keeps me from repeating the same things over and over again, and helps me move on when I am having a difficult time. It also helps me to see how far I have come in the improvement process.


Carolyn M Fields profile image

Carolyn M Fields 2 years ago from the USA

When my husband died suddenly of a heart attack at the young age of 49, I turned to a journal to help me sort out the chaos of thoughts and emotions going on inside me. It was nothing short of a sanity saver. Before that, I had kept more of a "diary" where I recorded activities and events. That was my first experience with "processing" emotions. It can be a very powerful tool.

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