Call it a diary or call it a journal, either way we’ve all had them, we’ve all written in the second person and addressed the pages as if they were a person, and we’ve all given up on them. As adults, we have all forgotten the importance of documenting our thoughts. Diaries and journals aren’t just for preteen rants or secrets -- nor are they meant for an audience because, let’s admit, our grandmother’s didn't reveal our royal heritage and ship us off to a new country. However, it’s important that we assign value to our thoughts and occasionally write them down. Here are a few reasons to get you writing:
Writing can reduce stress, simplify feelings, improve problem solving skills, etc. etc. Think of your brain as a giant, messy knot of tangled yarn. When you write, the stress that keeps that knot intact is released and your brain reassembles itself into the clean ball of yarn worthy of becoming the sweater that your distant cousin Joann will send you for Christmas.
2. Physical Health
The experiences that make your brain feel well can also improve our bodily functions. According to James Pennebaker, a scientist at University of Texas at Austin, writing can strengthen immune responses. Not to mention, some research has gone so far as to conclude that journaling improves lung function in asthma patients and reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. I think we can all sacrifice a little bit of our time for the sake of our bodies.
3. Personal Growth
Nothing helps you learn from an experience like putting it in ink. Remember that time you cyber stalked your crush and finally worked up the courage to send them a message only to be left on read? If you write down the thought process that lead up to that heartbreak, you can improve your reasoning skills and find a different way to approach the apple of your eye. Not only can journaling help you tread through the murky waters of love while improving interpersonal relationships, it can also improve your relationship with yourself.
4. Writing Skills
When you take a little time out of your day to jot down a few sentences, you’ll witness your crude caveman writings transition into words worthy of Michelle Obama’s lips. Although that may be a slight exaggeration, it’s a fact that nothing improves your writing skills like writing.
Reminder: not everything you write down has to be the epitome of eloquence. You have every right to express yourself, and journaling is one of the many methods that can help you become the person you want to be. Now go forth and write.