Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3 Reasons to Keep a Diary, No. 2

Again, why should I keep a journal? I'm not a 12-year-old girl. I don't see what the benefits are.
Okay, so you're not a 12-year-old girl (or if you are, congratulations!). Neither am I (though I was for about a year one time). Journaling is not only for preteen girls--keeping a journal can help everyone. And when I say it can help, I really mean it. Try typing "benefits of journaling" into your search engine. I got 1,080,000 results. Even if 99% of them are crap, that still leaves 10,800 results!

In my research for this post, I found a boatload of information about the emotional and psychological benefits.

"The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you." (Maud Purcell, The Health Benefits of Journaling)

However, I was somewhat surprised to find that there is growing scientific support for the idea that keeping a journal has physical benefits, as well. According to Purcell, research shows that because keeping a journal helps a person process stressful events, it then relieves the physical impact of that stress. For example, it strengthens the immune system and improves the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. This makes perfect sense to me. Any illness or medical condition is going to aggravated by stress; that's just the way the body works. So relieving stress is bound to bring some relief to medical symptoms!

So, according to Maud Purcell's article at Psych Central, why keep a journal?

1. You'll literally feel better. Your joints and airways will thank you, my friends!

2. Say goodbye to mental blocks. Say goodbye to the power struggle between the left brain and the right brain. Say hello to efficient brain-use.

And a random bonus reason because I love when things come in threes:

3. You can make up new words. Dr. Seuss hardly used any existing words. William Shakespeare made up 1,700 new words. Who knows, you could be the next Dr. Seuss or Shakespeare!


  1. You're arguments make me want to write!

  2. Maybe I should called them encouragements ;)