Updated: Jul 22, 2020
The year 2020 has been...different. Schools made a sudden shift from traditional to virtual learning, millions began working from home, and countless others have been unemployed for months. If I could develop a solution to all three of these problems by the close of business today, I absolutely would! But I highlight these shifts to life as we know it in order to stress the importance of practicing self-care.
Did you know that journaling is a great self-care activity for ALL age groups? Keep reading to find out why!
What Does the Research Say?
There is a plethora of information detailing the benefits of journaling for both children and adults. Research and data has proven that journaling can positively impact the following areas: IQ (Intelligence Quotient), mindfulness, emotional intelligence, healing, and self-discipline. More detailed descriptions of each area are below!
· IQ: An increase in an individual’s IQ merely refers to their ability to function at a higher capacity. According to Jack Naglieri, a research professor at the University of Virginia, "One of the best single measures of overall intelligence as measured by intelligence tests is vocabulary." Journaling directly impacts vocabulary development in children and adults. As journaling is the exploration of language, writers will grapple with finding new words and add them to their mental library. Thus, simultaneously increasing their vocabulary knowledge and writing skills.
· Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of decreasing stress, and increasing well-being by being present, aware, and non-judgmental. Both children and adults can be present in their thoughts, accept their feelings, and also acknowledge that everything may not be okay in that moment, but that it will be. Journaling promotes mindfulness by helping people to actively engage in their thoughts as they explore events that brought them joy, sorrow, and peace through writing.
· Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and manage emotions. Mindfulness and emotional intelligence walk hand-in-hand. As mindfulness helps children and adults become aware of their emotions, emotional intelligence helps them to name those specific emotions and develop coping strategies. Journaling supports emotional intelligence as children and adults express and process their emotions through what they write.
· Healing: “When we translate an experience into language, we essentially make the experience graspable”, according to Dr. James Pennebaker-author of Writing to Heal. In this text, Pennebaker discusses how journaling possesses emotional, physical, and psychological healing properties. It helps people to heal from past experiences and relieve stress as they employ a “write it all down” philosophy.
· Self-Discipline: If you do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result, you’re insane. On the contrary, if you complete the same task at the same time every day and observe a positive outcome, you’re disciplined. The more children and adults exercise their writing muscle, the stronger it becomes! Furthermore, journaling at the same time every day builds a habit. As habits have tendency to spread, this level of consistency and accountability will trickle into other areas of a person's life.
Resources: Paper and Stylo
Now that we know why we’re writing, let’s talk through some top tier resources for journaling. Paper and Stylo is your one stop shop for all things stationary! Founded by the lovely Vanessa, Paper and Stylo provides amazing materials for writing and storage at a great price! Her website showcases materials for both children and adults to use for journaling. The only thing that’s better than the products themselves is Vanessa’s 15% discount on all first time orders! Take a look at some of the wonderful products that can be found on her site below and head over to https://paperandstylo.com/ to make your purchase today!
Thanks for reading! Please see the links below for journaling prompts to help get yourself and others started!
Young Children and Adolescents: