“Journaling is paying attention to the inside for the purpose of living well from the inside out.” Lee Wise
Journalling is writing about your feelings, thoughts, and emotions in a journal.
The is good evidence that doing so regularly reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
Writing a journal is a great way to develop resilience.
In a work context people usually use one of three different journaling techniques.
This is simply recording what you feel or think.
It does not have any rules or structures.
This type of journalling shows the flow of thoughts and focuses on expressive writing.
When doing this type of journaling, do not worry about spelling, syntax, grammar, or punctuation just let the thoughts flow..
Prompt journaling involves using a set list of questions and answers.
Prompt journaling involves answering questions each day (the same or different).
Doing so gets you to place our attention on specific areas of our life.
Specific journaling involves selecting a specific area of concern and just focusing on that for a day.
Many people find this works best with work issues.
They sit down and work on their biggest worry or their biggest project each day to get some more clarity on it.
Journaling and diary-keeping are very similar. The difference is their objective.
A diary is objective and is used mainly to write down events, day-to-day updates, and data collections. It is textual and chronological.
Journaling is a much more subjective and reflective process.
It focuses far less on things that have happened and far more on motions, feelings, and thoughts.
Anne Frank is famous for the journal that she kept as a Jew in hiding during the second world war.
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
Serena Williams is a 23-times grand slam champion who has struggled with a number of injuries during her career.
“Writing down your feelings in a journal can help clear out negative thoughts and emotions that keep you feeling stuck.”
Martina Navratilova is arguably the greatest ever women’s tennis player winning 18 Grand Slams during her career.
“Keeping a journal of what’s going on in your life is a good way to help you distil what’s important and what’s not.”
“Journaling helps you to see and appreciate how strong you are within.” Jeremiah Say
Journaling can offer a number of direct benefits at work.
Many people consider journalling to be a form of self-administered therapy.
Journaling can make you more productive.
It is a great way to sort what is important from what is unimportant, the key first step in using the 80:20 principle.
Journaling is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.
Multiple studies how shown this in multiple contexts.
Two quick examples are:
A study by Northumbria University found that journaling focused on positive experiences had a strong impact on reducing stress and anxiety.
This study from Michigan University demonstrated that students using journaling reduced their levels of anxiety markedly.
A wide range of studies has linked journaling to improvements in a wide range of improvements in physical health.
This study found that injuries healed faster in people who journaled about their issues rather than their daily schedule. The authors speculated that this was attributable to journaling reducing their cortisol levels.
This study on journaling about difficult experiences concluded.
‘writing about earlier traumatic experiences was associated with both short-term increases in physiological arousal and long-term decreases in health problems’
Journaling can improve our relationships, and relationships are key to having influence at work.
The more we reflect, the more we can put things in perspective and forgive others and ourselves.
This study demonstrated that journaling significantly improved the odds that a couple would stay together.
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Oprah Winfrey
There is no required amount of journaling that you need to do to start enjoying its benefits.
The more you do and the more often you do it, the greater the benefits will be, but don’t let that stop you from starting.
Simply do what you can. Whether it’s a lot or a little, it will still benefit you.
Keeping a journal regularly isn’t easy.
Here are some tips to help you build up the habit.
· Find a private place where you can write without any disturbance.
· Fix a time and keep it. Create your moment.
· Be 100% honest when writing your journal. Don’t hide anything.
Journaling is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mental health.
We’d suggest that you give it a try for just 5 minutes each day for a week and see how it goes. You’ve nothing to lose.
Try not to judge it before the week is up, but once it’s done, see how you feel.
Is life a little easier? Are you a little less anxious? We’re pretty sure you’ll say yes to both.
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