Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.
6 powerful benefits of journaling
Proven ways this healthy habit can change your life
As people look to take a “time out” from their extra-busy lives or to reflect on what’s going on in the world, more and more are discovering the benefits of journaling. Tony Robbins himself has been keeping journals for as long as he can remember. They can help you see your progress, remember day-to-day events and focus on your future goals. They’ve certainly worked for Tony.
Don’t think you have the time? Journaling can actually help you be more productive, saving you time in the end. Whether you want to make sense of your busy life or pause and reflect, journaling has a plethora of benefits just waiting to be discovered.
1. Achieve your goals faster
Tony says that “Setting goals is the first step from the invisible to the visible.” But there’s another essential step: writing them down. One study found that writing down goals improves the chance of achieving them by 42%. The same study found that those who wrote weekly progress reports achieved even more. But why?
One of the reasons why journaling is important is that it can hold you accountable. Look back on your goals every night and write down the actions you took today that will help you achieve them. Then write down three things you can do tomorrow. Did you complete those actions? If not, why not? When you break your goals down into daily, achievable tasks, you could see your productivity skyrocket.
2. Find solutions to challenges
Former UK prime minister Benjamin Disraeli famously said, “The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write about it.” Journaling can help you explore and clarify your thoughts, feelings and ideas. It gives you insights into the most important opinion of all: your own. You can’t get that from talking to a friend.
If you’re facing a challenge in life, take advantage of the benefits of journaling to work through your options. Write down everything you know about the problem you need to solve or decision you need to make. It will be easier to balance opposing viewpoints, identify what’s really important to you and find a compromise or a solution.
3. Improve memory and recall
Journaling doesn’t just help you make sense of events – the process can actually help you retain information. Studies have found that expressive writing can increase working memory capacity, and the process of writing itself serves to cement facts or events in your brain. Drawing and even typing don’t have the same effect – writing activates the brain even more than those activities.
Even writing down facts that seem insignificant at the time will help improve your overall memory. And chances are that your future self will find these “boring” events much more interesting. Sometimes it is the small moments that have the greatest impact on who we become. Thanks to the benefits of journaling, you’ll be able to remember those moments.
4. Decrease stress and anxiety
The benefits of journaling go beyond problem-solving and achieving goals. Writing has also been proven to decrease depression and anxiety and improve resilience and overall well-being. Even writing about everyday stressors, like a work presentation or a fight with your significant other, can have anxiety-reducing effects.
Journaling can also be the first step toward creating other positive daily habits to reduce anxiety. This week, you’ll write in a journal for five minutes. Next week, you’ll develop an empowering morning ritual. You can use your journal to hold yourself accountable for these new goals. Before you know it, you’re on the path to an extraordinary life.
5. Improve physical health
One incredible reason why journaling is important is that it can actually make you healthier. Personal writing has been shown to boost immune function and help post-surgery healing, among many other benefits. In another study, college students who wrote about their feelings experienced fewer illnesses while they were at school.
The decreased stress and anxiety you’ll experience can also have positive physical effects, like helping insomnia. Combined with exercise you enjoy, the right diet and other healthful practices, journaling can be a powerful tool to improve your overall health.
6. Change your mindset
Writing about your thoughts and feelings can even help you see the positive benefits of stressful events, rather than focusing on the negative. Journaling can also help you see how far you’ve come. When you have a setback or a bad day, look back in your journal to see all that you’ve accomplished.
If you struggle with negative self-talk or limiting beliefs, you’ll understand why journaling is important. By writing down these negative thoughts and feelings and identifying them as false, you take away their power and can replace them with empowering beliefs. As with goal-setting, the act of writing it down can be enough to make it feel true.
Just 10 to 15 minutes per day is all it takes to see all the positive benefits of journaling. Now that you know how much you can gain from this mindful practice, it’s time to get out a pen and paper and start writing!