In-Between the Pages: Journaling 5 Minutes a Day, Keeps the Dr. Away

I promised you a series for the next few weeks on health and well-being. This is week is number two of access to a better and healthier you. You may be wondering how journaling serves that purpose? It’s probably been thought of in this way, but it bares repeating that journaling is becoming a powerful way for people to write their way to better health and well-being.

Our unique ability as humans to be able to talk to ourselves and think in words, then write them down, is a major part of our human experience of consciousness.

Journaling has a physical impact on your well-being. Here’s a health fact from James Pennebaker a physiologist from the University of Texas on what journaling has been proven to do as a benefit to your health:

“…regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes or T-cells…”

Still other research has discovered that regular journaling decreases symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Writing about things that stress you out helps you deal with and come to an understanding of what stresses you out. This actively reduces the negative impact that those stressors have on you.

It’s a way to empty your head from all those thoughts that manage to find space and attention uninvited, that don’t deserve to have that very space. Your best ideas and creative projects live there competing for their space amongst the uninvited, sometimes never getting to see the light of day. Scientific evidence supports that the act of journaling accesses the left side of your brain which leaves the right side of your brain free to create, ideate, and feel. It removes those mental blocks and the very act of journaling gives you access to your whole brain with one simple task. You get back very valuable thinking space.

Writing before bed has helped me sleep better as I go to bed with an empty head. Before that I was finding myself waking up in the middle of the night with all the crap that I stuffed in there during the day, some good stuff and most bad. Stressful things that made it even harder for me when compounded with thoughts of a new day of doing it all over again. Getting that sorted out on paper or digitally before going to bed emptied it all out, giving me peace and less stress along with a full night of sleep.

If you’re trying to be more positive as you start you day and would rather journal with an analogue feel, one company, The Five-Minute Journal has got you covered. They’ve created a journal practice that takes only 5 minutes a day of reflection and writing time. It focuses you with a consistent habit of journaling over time and you will learn to cultivate gratitude as you start your days. This practice ultimately will improve your daily well being. It just works.

DayOne Journal is a digital option for journaling that syncs across several electronic devices so you can journal anywhere at any time. I use this one the most and have used it for over two years. It also serves a dual purpose of capturing my blog ideas and topics week in/week out.

Then there is the trusted back-ups like my Baron Fig, Moleskines, and a cache of pens. I always have them close and nearby in the event I have electronic struggles or challenges.

My challenge to you is simple. Take the 30 day challenge of journaling for 5 minutes a day, everyday. Two and a half minutes while you’re waiting for your coffee in the morning and then again in the evening while you wait for your microwave dinner to finish rotating. It will change you and you will learn about yourself something I don’t think you knew. You will be a healthier YOU.

Thanks, always, for reading my post. Have a great week!

- Shawn


Originally published at www.writingwaves.com.