When you started your business you probably began by writing your ideas down in a notebook, perhaps even sketching out some designs and hopefully, writing down your business goals.
If writing your thoughts and ideas down was helpful in starting your business, hopefully you haven't stopped and you continue to write in a notebook or journal consistently.
Why? Because writing does more than just help you with ideas and to-do lists. It’s actually good for your health.
Yes, journaling is good for you — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
So if you have slacked a bit on your writing since starting your business, or have never really gotten into it, here are a couple tips to get you going.
Simply start where you are. If you need to initially just write a single line, or detail the specifics of what you had for breakfast, do it. Don’t preoccupy yourself with managing perfect punctuation, grammar, or spelling. Just write and don’t censor yourself. This is for you.
Grab any old notebook or a fancier bullet journal and set aside a dedicated space and time for journaling. And for now, put aside the screens when journaling — writing by hand stimulates and trains the brain in a way digital communication doesn’t.
Journaling is as an effective strategy for personal growth because it has very specific applications for entrepreneurs seeking to get ahead in business. By putting your thoughts into written word, you engage in a creative process that allows you to brainstorm effective solutions and explore new lines of thinking.
It is no wonder that journaling is a habit effective entrepreneurs make a part of their routine. Few things come close to providing the clarity of thought and organizing of the mind that journaling can provide.
Here are five good-for-you virtues of journaling:
- Stress Reducer. An overabundance of stress can be damaging to your physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, a study showed that expressive writing (like journaling) for only 15 to 20 minutes a day three to five times over the course of a four-month period was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality.
- Keeps Memory Sharp. Journaling helps keep your brain in tip-top shape. Not only does it boost memory and comprehension, it also increases working memory capacity, which may reflect improved cognitive processing.
- Mood Booster. A unique social and behavior outcome of journaling is this: it can improve your mood and give you a greater sense of overall emotional well-being and happiness. Journaling evokes mindfulness and helps writers remain present while keeping perspective. It presents an opportunity for emotional catharsis and helps the brain regulate emotions.
- Solve problems more effectively. Typically we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
Clarify your thoughts and feelings. Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world. By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident.
The lesson here? If you’re looking to better your health and well-being, keep a journal.
Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the fun, smart services for businesses looking to level up. Do you have any tips for business owners just starting out with journaling? Share them with Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.