Write This Down: Journaling is Good for You
Posted by Rachael Gibson
Ever found a diary from your teenage years? CRINGE! Looking back at our past selves on a page is guaranteed to make the toes curl. But it turns out, if you did put pen to paper regularly back then, you might just have been doing yourself and your wellbeing a favour. And if you’ve tried journaling as an adult and it made you feel better, did you ever wonder why? Like all of our favourite wellbeing solutions, there is real science behind the practice, and that’s why there are two journals in our Wellbeing Edit.
Journaling to help you sleep & de-stress
For the uninitiated, the Wellbeing Edit is our now-yearly tradition of sharing the perfect partners to our NEOM products, found elsewhere in the wellbeing community. Our aim is to help you build YOUR toolkit of small things that will add up to big changes in how you feel. Better sleep? We’ve got you covered for Pillow Mist and sleepy scents, but when it comes to the whole routine, journaling really is worth a try.
The psychology behind journaling for better sleep is similar to the psychology of sharing traumatic events in order to overcome them. By journaling, you naturally organise your thoughts and feelings – good and bad – from your day. By recognising and organising the bad, you begin to process it. By acknowledging the good, you naturally focus your mind on the positive, which has the knock-on effect of building your resilience.
“One of the most useful things you can do to combat stress and anxiety is to keep a running record of your thoughts on paper. There's simply no better way to learn about your thought processes than to write them down.” Says Psychologist Barbara Markway.
If this sounds heavenly to you but the thought of trying to put pen to paper before bed sounds like, well, work, give the One Line a Day journal a try. This clever tool has made it into the Wellbeing Edit because it’s so accessible, all you have to do is write down one memory from your day. As time goes on, you become your own inspiration as the journal lets you compare today’s date with previous years. We recommend keeping a notebook nearby as you might find one line isn’t enough…
Journaling to boost your energy & mood
Sometimes it feels like there are not only a billion things on the ‘to do’ list, but there are multiple lists. Lists on lists. According to Positive Psychology journaling can help us shift from a negative mindset to a more positive one, especially about ourselves. One of the easiest ways to journal and boost your mood is by simply writing down things that you’re thankful for each day.
Journaling for your goals helps you take that energy BACK, and channel some of it into self-care. Because (say it with us) if you’re not looking after yourself, you’re not operating as your best you. The science behind this energy boost comes from a UCLA study in which a direct link was proven between purpose and happiness. And no, a million errands does not count as purpose. If more energy is on your wellbeing wishlist, have a go at journaling in the morning, and tell your diary what you want from the day. That’s what YOU want to achieve, not what your boss, kids or spouse would like you to achieve - but nail this habit and you might just find yourself acing those more easily too.
We love the Head Plan Journal for its utter simplicity. It helps you filter out everything but the stuff that’s most important to you. And when that’s clear and on paper, you’ll feel more purposeful, and sharper-minded. Journaling also improves your memory and communication skills, so when you’re spending less time explaining and more time doing, it might just be your diary you have to thank (as well as your vat of morning coffee).
Where to start?
The Wellbeing Edit is NOT about setting unattainable goals. There’s no need to put pressure on yourself to write ten pages a day – literally one line is enough. The Head Plan is un-dated, so you can do it whenever, and as often as you like. These journals are in our edit because we found they were a genuine joy to use, and have become valuable additions to our wellbeing toolkits over six months of trying them out. We think you’ll love them too…