The latest research finds that journaling, or writing a daily diary, is a practical and effective method that can help increase your levels of happiness and improve the quality of your life.
Psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker at the University of Texas has found that regular journaling helps:
- Strengthen the immune cells
- Decrease the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings
- Know yourself better
- Reduce stress
- Solve problems more effectively
- Resolve disagreements with others
“Writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you”.
~ Professor James Pennebaker
And there is further research from other universities that extoll the surprising benefits of keeping a diary or personal journal:
- Participants who wrote about “imaginary” traumas showed improvements in physical health (Greenberg et al., 1996)
- Writing about “worries” related to an exam before it took place significantly improved test scores, especially for those who are normally anxious about exams ( Ramirez & Beilock, 2011)
- Participants who wrote about their relationships were significantly more likely to still be dating that romantic partners three months later (Slatcher & Pennebaker, 2006)
- Spending two minutes writing for two consecutive days caused people to have fewer physical symptoms at four to six weeks follow up than did controls (Burton & King, 2008)
Sometimes the most simple things, when done consistently, can have a dramatic influence on health and life.
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn”
~ Anne Frank
Journaling is free and you can start straight away.
Professor Marshal Goldsmith has plenty of research to show that asking simple active questions on a regular basis can also affect how you think and improve the quality of your life even when life is challenging you and things aren’t going your way.
Active Questions, the first of the three POWER Questions of the Telos Lifestyle Revolution, can help you:
- Feel happier in life
- Feel like life has more meaning
- Engage in life more
- Reach your goals more consistently
After just two weeks, the results showed that:
- 91% said they got better in at least one area
- Nobody said they got worse
Find out more about Power Thoughts and Active Questions here.
Your phone is great tool to help keep a diary if you don’t want to have to write one using a pen and paper. With your phone you can use the voice to text option to record your daily diary using your voice.
You can store your journal using the POWER Questions Google App and make it easy to correlate the data when you want to analyse the results.
Daily journaling combined with your POWER Questions are powerful, free, easy to use techniques for improving your mental and physical health as well as your life.
If you need help setting them up or advice on how to use them, just contact me and I will be happy to help.