Journaling: What is it? And why you need to start

I believe journaling to be a great tool for improving your thought processes over time. Writing your thoughts down every morning can be an extremely cathartic experience.

My experience with journaling

I’ve been using journals as a means to improve my cognition for the past few weeks and have definitely noticed a big difference in that time.

Below, I have listed a few benefits you can expect from journaling and given some evidence for you to have a look at if you’re still not convinced.

Improves IQ

The constant writing and use of your brain associated with journaling every day can improve your IQ according to some sources. This is great news if you’re looking to keep your brain on its toes and improve your vocabulary whilst improving other areas of your mental state.

Expands your memory

According to some research, there is a relationship between the hand and the brain. As words are technically physical representations of ideas, getting these down on paper on a regular basis allows you to boost your ability to re-compose ideas whilst writing and improve cognitive recall over time.

Allows you to empty your mind

This is a subjective benefit that I have noticed since taking up journaling. It allows me to empty my thoughts onto the page every morning and start the day off with a clear mind, meaning I can concentrate on what is important to me on that particular day. This has been proven in research which has shown those who write journals regularly suffer far less stress than those who don’t.

So these are some of the amazing benefits on offer if you start journaling, how exactly can you get started?

journaling papers

I recommend buying a cheap notebook and writing for 5 minutes every morning, aiming to fill at least half a page each time. Write anything that comes into your mind, aiming to empty all of your thoughts and cognitions onto the page and let them out of your mind.

Try to keep it to a certain structure – things that are stressing you out, things you are thankful for, things you are looking forward to and goals you are working towards. This way you will always have a structure to prompt you when you get stuck and this will also organises your entries conveniently.

Once you’ve started you’ll be able to check back in a month or so’s time and check whether things that were stressing you have been resolved or something you’d been looking forward to had gone to plan. I find this is a great way of tracking progress and making sure that stressors don’t hang around for longer than they have to, making you a much happier person in the long run.