Why keeping a diary is good for health
Inspiration / / December 26, 2019
Michael Grothaus (Michael Grothaus)
The writer is a freelance journalist. Founder and CEO SITU Scale.
I am a personal a diary for many years. Twelve, to be exact. When I tell people that keep a diary, some are beginning to think that this is some notes related to the work. Others imagine a teenage version of the spirit: "Dear diary! Now I feel... "And that's it.
When I started to keep a diary, the first page was a real torture. But today, keeping a diary - one of the favorite parts of my day: writing down your thoughts, I feel better, both physically and mentally.
Surprisingly, the improvement of health in the management of the diary - it's not just psychosomatic. This business is really improves health those who practice it. According to Dr. James Pennebaker (James Pennebaker), a psychologist and a leading expert in the field of expressive writing, journaling strengthens immune cells, T-lymphocytes. Thanks to this mood improves, increased social activity. Also it is shown a beneficial effect on the quality of intimate relationships.
Most studies conducted expressive letters to the measurement of indicators of physical health that allows you to track changes. As a result, many scientific experiments, it became known that through keeping a diary begins to function better immune system, normalizes blood pressure, improves sleepReduced stress. After several months of keeping a diary less people are starting to see a doctor. Other studies have found that this activity promotes faster wound healing and greater mobility among people with arthritis. And the list goes on.
So what is keeping a diary? This association of personal accountability, based on the facts, to study their inner feelingsSometimes irrational, but it is always important.
There are weeks when I do write every day, and sometimes I do not write for a month not a single word. The meaning of the diary is not only to organize your thoughts - because you can simply think carefully about them, and it can also bring certain advantages. When journaling is the act of recording thoughts it brings the greatest impact.
When you make a record, running left, rational side of your brain. While it is busy, the right brain is doing what it turns out he does best: create, anticipate and feel. Keeping a journal removes all mental blocks and allows you to use all the features of our brain to better understand themselves and the world around us.Maud Purcell (Maud Purcell), psychotherapist, expert in writing
Already intrigued? I think yes. But maybe you're like, I did not know me 12 years ago, to start. Therefore, I suggest the following 8 tips to help you master the art of keeping a diary as soon as possible.
1. Use a pen and paper
The modern world - a keyboard and a touch screen. But when it comes to keeping a diary, more benefits of a normal pen and paper.
I noticed that most of my patients intuitively understand that writing down thoughts of the hand better than using the keyboard. And studies confirm this. It turns out that at the time of writing stimulated the reticular activating system - an area of the brain that filters out and puts a premium on information on which we focus.Maud Purcell
In the letter from the hand, there are additional benefits. It keeps us from editing your own thoughts. While many people are 20-30 years old have lost muscle memory handwriting and this activity may seem slow and uncomfortable, pass a little time, and you will again feel comfortable when writing from hands.
When I get to convince young people, especially the 20-year-olds to take notes the good old words, they always affects the result, because this occupation is really soothing and helps to cope with the problems.Maud Purcell
2. If you do not like to write with a pen, find the suitable tool
Perhaps trying to write by hand, you will understand that this option does not suit you. There is nothing to worry about.
Fortunately, today there is a huge variety of options. Personally, I prefer to keep a diary by hand using pen V5 Hi-Techpoint with very thin rod. Yes, but this particular option. I think this is a smart tool that helps my thoughts to flow from the head to the pages of a notebook Moleskine.
But when pen and paper are not for you, please refer to their technological counterparts. Fit and standard editors (Word or Pages from Microsoft by Apple), and a more minimalist solutions like Ommwriter. Perhaps you prefer touchscreens. In general, look for the most convenient solution.
3. Set a justifiable limit
People used to put a restriction on the number of written, for example, 3 pages every day. But experts agree that a more effective solution for keeping a diary will be a time limit.
Rationally judge for how much time a day you can devote to this occupation in his busy schedule. Even if at first it is only 5 minutes.
Limited period of time helps people to focus on a specific target when they start to keep a diary. It can be difficult to see in front of 3 blank pages, and it's over, and it began. A time limit will not seem an ordeal.
Pennebaker recommends to write for 15-20 minutes a day. In this case, the only rule - do it consistently.
4. You do not have to be Shakespeare
Most aspiring writers (No matter what they write notes in a diary, an article for a popular magazine or volume novel) is usually mistaken belief that whatever they write, should be deep and sensual. And when such a mistake, you start to keep a diary, you can be sure that it will lead to failure. This activity is directed outward to others and blog you must keep for yourself. Genuine depth comes naturally, by itself, even accidentally. Pretentiousness arises when people specifically trying to seem smarter.
Shakespeare was a great writer because of natural talent and a thorough study of the nature of man. But what's good for him, it does not have to be so for you. You do not need to show their literary talent. You just need to write.
I advise my patients to forget about spelling, punctuation, and just pour out on paper your stream of consciousness. So keeping a diary will help bring to the fore the information, which is stored a little deeper consciousness. Give her spill.Maud Purcell
5. Do not edit
One of the goals of keeping a diary - examine the areas of your mind, that you may not want to give out. Entries - this is not the article. No one will check your spelling, grammar, punctuation and structure of the content. When you edit, you start to think about and focus on the presentation, rather than on their thoughts.
The essence of the diary to write without thinking. Thinking, we prevent our intuition, and therefore, the whole purpose of the diary is lost. Diary can help to explore the ways in which we can not consciously detect. We can find a very interesting subject, if at the time of stop thinking.
6. Engage in his diary in the same place every day
You do not need to be locked in a solitary ivory tower, to write down their thoughts. However, if you have a specific place where you will keep a personal diary, it will contribute to a more introspective good notes.
I have a favorite cafe in London, where I like to write. Even when there appears to be noisy from dings cups and speaking of visitors, I find this soothing background noise. He helps me to immediately tune in the desired fashion, and I plunge into his diary. If the cafe is not for you, try to write in a quiet room at home or on a park bench.
Let this be an attractive place where rustic, where there are things that inspire you, where you can see them, touch or feel the smells: flowers, sentimental PhotoMemorabilia or a pleasant drink - your choice.Maud Purcell
7. Leave room for maintenance
When I buy a new the Moleskine, before you start a diary, always miss the first two or three pages. When I fill the entire notebook (usually one year), for some time waited, and then re-read it.
Rereading, I highlight notes or thoughts that I think it is important to note the page number or the date of writing and then stand at the very beginning of the diary. It gradually develops the content, thanks to which I can easily find important records. It's great to help me when I encounter difficulties. I can see how in the past, faced with problems that seem insurmountable to me, but which in the end I was able to cope.
The experts are divided, it is necessary in the diary contents or not.
"Some people like the presence of the structure, someone - no, - says Pennebaker. - Some people like to re-read the writing, someone - no. The point is to find the way that will work for you. "
Purcell have another point of view: "I like this idea. Of course, some parts of the diary will appear more relevant to your life as a whole. And quick access to these notes will be useful, especially in the convoluted or stressful moments life. It is remarkable that there will be an opportunity to remind ourselves, how do you cope with the seemingly hopeless situations in the past. "
8. Keep a diary away from prying eyes
Find a safe and secure place for your diary. In order for this exercise to be truly effective, you should feel as free and write things that can not even tell your best friend.
Personal diary - this is not a letter to another person. This is not a document in which others have to judge you. Want to to write a book? Good. Write a book. Blog - it's just for you alone. If you have written may hurt the feelings of others, or damage your reputation, destroy or hide the diary in a safe place.
Remember that you are writing only for himself.