To Write, or Not to Write
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
When you think of journaling, what comes to mind? A young teen dreaming about the future or decrying the unfairness of a teacher? Perhaps a new mother writing about her first emotions as she holds her newborn child? Maybe she is carefully recording the baby’s first smile, first bath, first outing, or first family gathering? On the other hand, how many of you think of a seasoned leader? The larger than life man or woman who has led organizations through various highs and lows with confidence and purpose. I bet that example surprised you, didn’t it? However, that’s what I think of when I think of journaling. Regardless of the reasons we write, journaling has profound benefits that all of us should be taking advantage of.
The young teen needed to express their emotions and feelings. Journaling gave them a sense of release from the strong emotions they were feeling. The young mother was recording precious memories to be revisited at a later date. The seasoned leader was doing all the same, but also allowing experience to be turned into insight so future decisions could be arrived at more easily. If these were the only benefits to journaling, they would be enough to say everyone needs to write, but there are many more benefits to this age-old practice.
Journaling can help us manage stress by giving us an outlet for our feelings and emotions. Just as it helps the teen process through things, it gives us the ability to clear our heads and look at situations more objectively. The process of writing out our thoughts allows us to gain greater self-awareness. As we put the words on paper we can actually see our thoughts. At times, we are surprised by what we write, and we wonder where that thought came from. Journaling allows us to reflect on the validity of our emotions and dismiss those that may be counterproductive. Journaling about gratitude improves our overall health and brings an enhanced feeling of wellbeing. So really, the question isn’t to write or not to write, but when you will start.
Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we look into additional benefits of journaling and some tips to make it easier for you.