10/07/2013 07:42 BST | Updated 08/09/2013 06:12 BST

The Joy of Journaling (And 4 Reasons to Start)


My house is full of journals! On my desk is a little journal of daily tasks and work related ideas. There's much bigger one for client sessions and program notes. Atop my toilet sits the "Poop and fart" journal where I track my daily food intake and finally I have a little black journal called 'The journal of love and light' where I note all moments of coincidence and other happy happenchance. Although I'm a very tech savvy person and make full use of all the apps and software out there, I highly recommend the good ol' pen and paper. There are several reasons for this but the most important one is that as we form these letters on paper, we infuse them with our intention. Here are some great reasons to start using a journal:

1. To track your food and mood

Food journals are a great to understand your body, cravings, emotions and hormones (yes they're all connected!). Writing down what we eat and then noting our energy levels, poop frequency and quality and other notables helps to demystify the mysteries of the body. Did that cheeseburger make you constipated? That green smoothie help you feel good all day? Write it all down and watch as your body tells you what's working and what's not.

2. To give gratitude

Studies now show that people who give gratitude regularly have better immunity, less chances of heat attacks and neuromuscular disorders. They also report to sleep better and experience less anxiety and depression. A gratitude journal is a great reminder of all the gifts we have in our life at any given moment. This self-awareness takes us away from pining, desiring and wanting more to simply acknowledging and cherishing the abundance in our lives. The best times to write in your gratitude journal are first thing in the morning (to set a positive, grateful tone for the day) or last thing at night (to end the day with love and thankfulness). Try it out and see how you feel in a few weeks.

3. To write about your goals and dreams

Bob Proctor once famously said, "Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand." This means we have the power to design a life we want right now, starting with our thoughts. What's even more powerful than thinking thoughts is to write them down on paper. Wood energy represents the seasonal cycle of spring, a time for creativity, growth and self-development. Journals are great tools, created from this wood energy (paper), to help us tap into our own hidden reservoirs of creativity and inner-growth. Studies at Dominican University of California found that people who wrote down their goals, shared them with others, and maintained accountability for their goals were 33% more likely to achieve them, versus those who just formulated goals. Journals are also a great place to write daily/weekly intentions and affirmations.

4. To plan and organize

Whether you're an entrepreneur, an employee or a homemaker, chances are you are brimming with some great ideas to make your work easier and more efficient. Writing these ideas and projects down helps you develop a big-picture view of them. You can then break the task down into smaller segments and tackle them individually. A journal is also a great place to plan and organize your goals for the day, week and year. And there's no greater joy than ticking things off your checklist :) It is also works as a stress-relief technique to have everything down on paper instead of trying to remember!

What do you journal about? If not, what would you like to start with? Please share in the comments below.