Journaling has so many known benefits that I had no choice but to follow the advice of my awesome co-workers, who have journaled for a few years now, and introduce it to my #HealthEd students…and it’s been a huge success. Provided with weekly, open-ended prompts, my students have embraced the time to sit and write freely. I purchased these journals for students not wanting to source their own. When Isabell Gaylord offered to write a guest blog post about the value of journaling, I had to say yes! Isabell is a professional content writer and journalist. She is also a writing expert in such spheres as mental health and self-development. You can follow her on Twitter.
10 Health and Well-being Perks of Journaling for Teenagers
While some people might look down on keeping a journal, others see it as an incredible way to become a better person. Fortunately, science supports the latter group, showing that journaling not only reduces stress and improves immune functions, but it also keeps your memory sharp, strengthens your ability to cope with negative emotions, and boosts your mood! Check out the next 10 perks of journaling and their explanation.
1. Developing Mindfulness
A constant mindfulness practice will make your happiness skyrocket, science agrees. Being mindful means being present, and being present means focusing on what is going on at the moment instead of worrying about the past or present. The more mindful you are, the better your life will become. There are so many benefits to developing a constant mindful meditation practice, including sleep improvement, stress reduction, and an overall healthier lifestyle. But how does this relate to journaling? one might wonder.
Journaling brings you back to the present moment and helps you be more aware of your surroundings – journaling is by itself a mindfulness practice! By writing your thoughts down every day, you will dive into a state of alertness and enthusiasm and will be able to concentrate on finishing your tasks even faster!
2. Staying on Top of Your Work
Journaling will help you achieve goals and pursue your ambitions! Writing down your most interesting ideas and plans will help you (1) become aware of them and (2) map out a plan on how to conquer them. Think about building a house – the stronger the foundation and the clearer the blueprint, the better it will look when it’s completed. The same thing applies to your dreams – if you don’t plant the right goal-seeds, your plans will never flourish and come to life.
3. Developing EQ
According to Daniel Goldman, emotional intelligence or EQ is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions while recognizing, understanding, and influencing the emotions of others. What does this mean practically? It means that you are constantly aware of your surroundings and impact other people in a highly positive manner. You are able to give and receive feedback more easily, meet deadlines, and deal with change easier than before! Journaling develops this aspect of your life too through increasing your self-awareness and overall well-being.
4. Improving IQ
To write (well), you need serious critical thinking skills and high-IQ features! The University of Victoria found a strong positive correlation between writing and intelligence – the more you read and write, the better you will perform in your daily activities, including academics, sports, and social talk. “Vocabulary is actually one of the best measures to test one’s personal level of intelligence,” writes the same source. So, journaling to increase your promptness and brainpower will lead to improved results, improved relationships, and higher grades!
5. Enhancing Memory and Comprehension
We use words to express our ideas – but the way in which we use them tells something important about each one of us; how well do we understand other people’s thought processes? How well do we recall what we are being taught? If we do not engage in constant practice, how are we going to develop our brain and multiply our neuronal pathways? By journaling, this is exactly what we are doing.
6. Becoming More Resolute
Developing strong self-discipline is one of many people’s lifetime goals. Being resolute and, therefore, able to count on our own selves saves us time, money, and disappointment. More than that, it gives us the chance to work by ourselves (in our own time), which, for instance, can make remote jobs easier to apply for. If we have discipline, we can improve our lives in ways we cannot even imagine; that’s why journaling can be the first step to improving our self-discipline – it is a regular activity that we must stick to but also an incredible way of developing healthy habits.
7. Being a More Communicative Person
One of the other perks of journaling is becoming a more communicative person and saying exactly what we think. When we are alone, we are completely honest with ourselves, so we write down the first ideas that pop up into our head. However, in real life, many times we hesitate to do such things – we are afraid of confronting the people whom we truly care about. Isn’t it cool that journaling can turn into the backstage preparation for our daily routine of honest communication?
8. Healing Your Soul
“Writing to heal is one of the most impressive outcomes of a regular writing practice,” writes author Dana Gollum. We don’t start the healing practice by getting distracted – thinking, hanging out, dancing – we start it by looking into ourselves and seeing what truly resides in there. Stress, disappointment, and sadness all come from an inability to see these emotions affecting us. Writing about them makes us aware of them and thus, makes everything clearer in our minds!
9. Boosting Creativity
One of the best methods to enhance your creativity is letting your imagination flow freely while journaling! Don’t think about anything, just write down the first things that come to mind. Then let your hand dictate your brain, and your emotions dictate the length of your piece. You will eventually be able to complete your tasks freely, creatively, within a stress-free environment! Even one page of journaling per day will do it, trust me.
10. Becoming More Self-Confident
Journaling about your life will help you see patterns you might have not noticed before. The more you write, the more self-confidence you will develop. You will start realizing what gets you upset, what gets you going, how you react to unexpected situations, and where your happiness resides. If you don’t like these patterns, you will be able to change them, but remember! Life is 1% what happens to you and 99% how you react to it!
As you start developing a new healthy habit such as journaling, try to keep track of the changes in your life. After a while, you are likely going to start noticing that your emotions and impulses gradually get tamed, your mind clarifies and gets better at critical thinking and decision making, and finally you become more persistent and disciplined. So, that said, journaling is definitely worth trying and applying into your life.
You might also like to check out the following blog posts:
Journaling in Health from #slowchathealth
How Keeping a Pandemic Journal Builds Students’ Historical Thinking Skills and Helps Them Cope from Mindshift KQED
4 thoughts on “10 Health and Well-being Perks of Journaling for Teenagers”
Great post, Andrew. There is emerging research on how journaling and in this example goal-setting is helping to eliminate the achievement gap in higher education. https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/07/10/419202925/the-writing-assignment-that-changes-lives K12 teachers should be adopting these methods too. Student reflection, exam wrappers, self-evaluation, and peer review are ways students can take more responsibility for their learning in all subjects. Thanks for pushing our thoughts on the topic.
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