The benefits of journaling

If you survived elementary, middle, and high school, you’ve kept a journal at one time or another. Maybe it was when you were young, traveling, or just wanted to try it out. But if you’re like most people, you probably did not stick with it. After all, it’s often hard to find the time to sit and write. However, recording your daily experiences, feelings, opinions, or life journey can be a rewarding and cathartic exercise. The benefits of journaling are many, making journaling a great way to spend your time.
How would you like to reduce stress, lose weight, or deal with unhealthy emotions by the mere act of writing? Then get writing!

Chill Out

Feeling overwhelmed? Have too much on your mind to sleep? Stressed about an upcoming meeting or test? It may be time to add one more thing to your already busy schedule: journaling. Journaling has been found to be an effective way to deal with stress. Expressing your thoughts and feelings on paper can be as helpful as talking with a therapist, but it’s free (besides the cost of the pen and notebook).
The act of writing is a relaxation technique. Take time out of your hectic schedule to sit in a quiet place with just your journal and a pen. Release your pent up feelings of stress and anxiety onto the paper.

If the to-do list in your mind is causing you stress, get your journal out and write the list down. It may help to prioritize your list. Write your feelings about each item and then how you’ll feel when the list is complete. As you finish each task, mark it off your list. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and your stress will start to fade.

Slim Down

If you’re on a journey to lose weight, you may find that journaling, or keeping a food diary, is what you need to stay on track. Studies have shown the number of days written in a food diary is a remarkable predictor or the success of weight loss. Journaling seems to be a better forecaster of weight loss than one’s body mass index, age, or exercise patterns.

It’s difficult to estimate the number of calories you consume each day, and most people drastically underestimate the total. But if you keep a food diary of each meal and every bite in between, you’ll get a more accurate calorie count. Knowing you have to write down each bite, you’ll be less likely to snack and will make smarter food choices.

Think you’re eating right, but not losing weight? With a food diary, you’ll be able to look back over the week and see what’s missing (not enough fiber) or what you’re eating too much of (carbs). Keeping a journal that not only lists the foods you eat and their calorie count, but also details the events of your life is a great way to see connections between your emotions and bad eating habits.

Get Even Keel

Anger, sadness, loneliness, jealousy, and fear. These are just a few emotions common to the human race. Some people deal with negative emotions on a daily basis, others deal with them on occasion. How do you express those feelings? Do they come out in unkind words or rash actions or do you keep them pent up inside until you’re ready to explode?

One healthy way to deal with our emotions is through journaling. By writing down the true way you feel you’ll get those feelings out instead letting them build up inside. As you write, you’ll be able to process your feelings and understand the reason behind them. Putting your emotions on paper can be a therapeutic experience, providing a sense of release and freedom.

The Time Is Write

Whether you use a notebook or a computer, try to journal 15 minutes a day in a quiet place. Keep your private so you can be completely honest in your writing, and see the difference journaling can make in your life.

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