The Power of Journaling

The positive health benefits of keeping a journal or diary are no secret.

I’ve written in a journal since before I can even remember. And I’ve kept all my journals. It’s hilarious to go back and read the problems I had as a 4th grader. Or read about my middle school boyfriends. Or the big move across the United States that my family took when I was 12. Or the emotions I went through as I was planning my wedding.

My journals are my written history.

But they’re more than that.

During a Positive Psychology course I took in college, we had a semester long assignment where we had to come up with 3 things we were grateful for each week. It sounds easy, right? Only 3 things a week? Piece of Cake! Wrong. And I have so many things in my life to be grateful for. But coming up with 3 things each week proved to be a very difficult challenge as time went on and I had to think of new things. You see, the definition of ‘grateful’ is different than ‘thankful’. Gratitude can be defined by Psychology Today as: “…an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.”

As time went on and I continued to keep doing this gratitude journal assignment, I found that I was a much happier person and truly appreciated my life.

Journaling is a way to sort out your thoughts and help aid with decision-making.

And most importantly, journaling is beneficial to me as a novelist. One of the ways I get myself out of writer’s block every single time is by keeping a diary/journal. Even in the middle of a first draft novel, sometimes even in the middle of a sentence, I will pause and begin to journal as my character. It allows me into their mind, into their deep point of view, and helps me make a decision on where that character is likely to go next in the story.

So for those of you who always thought that keeping a diary was only for 9-year-old little girls, think again! Get out your notebook and pen, or Lisa Frank diary with a lock and key… and get journaling.

❤ Kristin and The Wordwraiths

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