Your brain on journalling

Writing down what's going on each day can have a huge impact on your life.

Dear diary… Whatever your reasons for starting a journal, chances are it’s going to be helpful. The reported health benefits of journalling* stretch from tension relief, to more restful sleep, healthier finances , improved fitness, and even better heart health .

(*Before you @ us, journaling vs journalling has been a hot topic in the team this week. Even Collins and Oxford dictionaries disagree on it. So, we’ve gone with a double ll, because we’re Brits, and on balance, it just felt right. So, that’s that out of the way.)

Types of journal

There are no rules really when it comes to journalling, but it can be good to have a variety of journals choose from, depending on your mood on any given day.

  • Gratitude journal: A simple list of three - five things you are grateful for.

  • Write down the answers to these five questions: What is one thing I'm uptight about today? What is one practical thing I could do to prevent or prepare for it? What's one reason it's probably not going to be as bad as I fear? What's one reason I know I can handle it? What's one upside of the situation?

  • Reflective journal: Look back on your day to process thoughts and feelings.

Why the brain loves a gratitude journal

Of all the types of journalling, gratitude is the most widely studied for mental well-being. Not surprising really, as it is connected to both mental and physical well-being, with links to processes within the brain that have long-term impacts on our overall health.

Benefits of journalling on learning

Journalling is an unexpected learning aid. Students who engaged in journalling were able to think more analytically, with greater focus and resilience. It has also shown to be useful in encouraging reflective thinking, which is a useful learning tool.

In younger children, teachers experienced benefits like improved well-being, relationships, and cognitive skills as well as an improved classroom environment after gratitude journalling.

For another well-being idea, check out these top tips from WeTransfer CCO Damian Bradfield on changing your digital behaviours.

About the author:
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Dan Murray-Serter

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