by Dariel Lim, t&j Content Writer
We’ve all probably done some form of journaling, especially as kids. Little notebooks that we stashed under our pillow or hid in a drawer had the privilege of holding our lofty dreams (y’know being astronauts and the like), angst (when mom wouldn’t let us eat ice-cream for breakfast) and juicy secrets (à la first crushes). Those notebooks may also be filled with a tonne of laughable spelling errors yet they carried a slice of our lives, expressed in a manner that was and still is deeply unique and personal to us.
As we grow a bit older, the role of notebooks or journals has evolved. We start using them for more impersonal, practical and “big boy” reasons - corporate meetings, business ideas and college lectures. It is something of a rarity for folks in these modern times to use physical notebooks, whether lined or dotted or not, to journal their personal thoughts, feelings and emotions. It’s a pity, really.
That is why we, the good folks at tittle&jot, have made it our mission to get more people, at home and abroad, journaling! The benefits are manifold but we have curated 5 fantastic reasons for you to crack open a fresh notebook and put pen to paper, just like when you were a kid penning every happy, every sad and every in-between moment. Your mental health will thank you later.
#1 Inspires Creativity
Your right brain is raring to go but it just needs a form of release. Journaling is one answer because it opens the lid to your creative self; all you have to do is let your emotions and thoughts flow onto paper.
Write without overthinking and let your consciousness take over. This "stream of consciousness" writing trick is employed by “Morning Pages” creator Julia Cameron. She recommends writing three pages of basically anything that crosses your mind, first thing in the morning. It could be an extremely vivid recount of a bizarre dream you had a few hours before or just a three pager on why you love donuts. No subject is off the table.
You’ll overcome that niggling writer’s block while working those creative muscles (and juices) to perfection.
#2 Improves Memory and Comprehension
Research has shown that writing (by hand, not typing) improves memory and comprehension because as HuffPost put it, “Words are representations of ideas; the formation of letters and causes the mind to compose or re-compose ideas while journaling. This strengthens previously covered information and forces you to engage in cognitive recall.”
Dr. Helen Macpherson, from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University, explains that writing helps us create our own summaries and concepts, allowing our brains to process and encode information on a deeper level, which only serves to enrich our cognitive functions.
#3 Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Journaling can be an incredibly cathartic experience because you’re letting the inner you speak. You are allowing your deepest emotions, thoughts and sources of stress to be expressed in a graspable, more tangible manner that’s easier for you to digest, rather than letting them swim and cloud your psyche. It’s like freeing a bird from its cage.
Studies have been done to show that journaling lowers anxiety as well and even induces better sleep so, say goodbye to counting sheep!
#4 Boosts Self-Confidence
A journal isn’t just for you to pen your sadness, grief and struggles. It should also be a little book to celebrate your wins, both big and small, like remembering to return your library books on time or remembering to pay your taxes.
The physical manifestation of these personal wins will allow you to relive the moment when you flip the pages of your journal. In that moment, endorphins and dopamine get released, boosting your mood and self-confidence. You are filled with belief, motivation and confidence that you can take on the next challenge, whatever it may be.
Many people also use journals to record their goals and resolutions. It’s one way to keep tabs on your progress, helping you recalibrate and refocus on what you deem important to achieve. Once you’ve achieved them, tick the aspirations off the list in your journal and trust us, the feeling you get is close to euphoria.
#5 Encourages Self-Reflection
As life becomes increasingly hectic, we often get caught up in its blinding speed. We, sometimes, lose ourselves in this rat race. Journaling can help us slow down to reflect on the various aspects of our lives and what we can do to improve things. Self-reflection also aids us in expanding our world view; our compassion and empathy can grow too.
Every morning when you first wake or every night before you hit the sack, in your journal, write:
- something or someone you’re grateful for
- something you want to learn
- something you want to improve on
Whether you’re new to this whole journaling thingamajig or you’re a veteran, level 1000 professional journal writer, we hope to inspire all of you to start or carry on with journaling. Just like life itself, journaling is a journey and we, at tittle&jot, would love to be a part of yours.
(Rumour has it that our Organic Linen A5 Dot-Grid Journal is pretty dang good.)
Shop our journal here: