When it comes to keeping a journal, our minds stereotypically think of younger confused teens who rant about their daily emotional turbulences, or maybe even that one quiet sweetheart whom we all knew shared a special relationship with his/her diary. Of course, that is just our typical understanding of those who keep a record of their daily life events; people generally do not seem to be a big fan of journals, seeing it as a tedious and unnecessary activity. However, it is important for you to know that many notable people from all walks of life such the musical genius, Beethoven to the talented writer, Mark Twain and even Charles Darwin – the infamous scientist who theorized mankind’s evolution – owned journals too.
From the Time We Lived in Caves till Now…
What I like to call… “Old School” Journaling
It can be said that the concept of journaling existed a long time ago as cavemen tried to carve their daily activities and accomplishments on the walls of their homes to keep a record of what happened. Now, the act is conducted with modern writing tools and unlike popular opinion, recording one’s own life can actually bring more benefits than expected (maybe our forefathers really were onto something). Many recent studies show that writing a few sentences about your daily life can in fact create a good impact on overall well-being. The scientific community has discovered that when a person is writing a journal, the left brain (analytical and rational) becomes occupied, thus freeing your right side of the brain to intuit, feel and create. This means that writing about yourself removes hard-wired mental blocks previously placed by your left brain, and in turn, allows a better opportunity for you to understand you and your surroundings.
Once you start journaling, these are the advantages that will be added to your life:
A report from University of Victoria notes that one of the best single measures of IQ is through vocabulary strength. Through writing, the discovery and usage of new words is almost guaranteed, and this will in turn give a positive growth to your IQ.
Keeping track of goals
All of us have our own ambitions and dreams; however, we tend to lose sight of them easily. While writing about it doesn’t guarantee that you achieve them, it is always good to start somewhere and have a “blueprint” of your ideas. Writing further enforces motivation to achieve goals as our reticular activating system (RAS – fancy word I know, but in simple terms – just your mind) marks relevant opportunities to achieve your goals as you encounter ways in your life.
Journaling involves writing about your feelings from daily mundane tasks to global issues that you might have a strong opinion about. This allows you to properly conceive your emotions and manage them accordingly, which in turn allows a better understanding of your beliefs and encourages good values such as empathy.
This is understandably straightforward as journaling is a written form of communication. Even if it is mainly directed to the writer him/herself, the subvocalization of your thoughts do translate to actual vocalization. As you go on, you are also able to better identify errors within your style of writing and find ways to improve them.
Why did I capitalize this? Of course, due to its HUGE advantage! arguably even the most important one in this list. Journaling really prompts for self-reflection as we write about our daily events. When we are writing about the events that happened, we sort of write it from a “3rd person’s perspective”, evaluating and judging the events. This transforms experience into genuine learning. With this, our personal values improve greatly while developing a higher level of conscience and thinking into problem solving and global awareness. Reflection allows us to not just learn from our past and surroundings but more importantly, from ourselves.
To summarize, journaling is not the mundane and “useless” activity that the majority perceive it to be. Instead, it actually brings a lot of positive self growth, and this allows us to be happier individuals with a mind that is constantly aware of the self. Pick up a pencil and start writing! It’s really that simple.
As a group that doesn’t focus on just the content but rather encourages genuine learning through experience, BeED’s Learning Experience is sequenced in such a way that after all knowledge and activities are understood, the final step of reflection ensures that learners can properly apply the knowledge given to themselves. This makes producing a future of engaging thinkers far more possible. Captivate the future of education with us at www.beedtheworld.com
- “Benefits of Reflection.” Writing@CSU. Colorado State University, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
- Hiser, David. Cavemen Drawings. Digital image. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
- Nguyen, Thai. “10 Surprising Benefits You’ll Get From Keeping a Journal.” The Huffington Post. HuffPost Lifestyle, 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
- Purcell, Maud. “The Health Benefits of Journaling.” Psych Central. N.p., 17 July 2016. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.