The practice of keeping a journal has been around for centuries, if not thousands of years; perhaps the best-known one was kept by Marcus Aurelius, whose book Meditations (written between AD 161 to 180) continues to issue invaluable life lessons. But, it's fair to say that throughout modern history, only a tiny percentage of people kept one (interestingly, that tiny percentage includes some of the most impressive people to have ever lived, from Leonardo DaVinci to Warren Buffet). Today, though, it's a ubiquitous and cherished practice among us mere mortals, and it's almost more unusual if you don't pick one up each day and scribble streams of consciousness into it with a view to self-betterment.
Journaling is a core component of the new self-care phenomenon and operates in tandem with regular exercise, quality sleep, and a balanced diet. But, whilst exercise, sleep, and diet play a crucial role in one's physical well-being, journaling is the most effective tool to improve and support mental and emotional well-being.
People journal for many different reasons, and it's not a one size fits all approach. For example, many journal to make sense of traumatic and tricky experiences, whilst others who benefit from not having such histories journal for clarity and focus – a much-needed state of emotion in this hectic world we all live in – so that they can attack each day with intent and purpose by being in their optimal state.
We're all for the power of journaling at Awling. But, for something so deeply personal, we believe your thoughts and ideas are befitting of a Journal of Made in England quality, which brings us to our two Journals.
Available in pitch black and walnut brown vegetable-tanned, full-grain leather tanned in Florence, Italy, each Awling Journal features our three-dot logo debossed on the outside. On the inside, there's a complementary Moleskine-ruled notebook, which, once filled, will need replacing. As for your Journal, though, that's with you for life.
With that said, here are three key reasons why you should consider taking up journaling this year.
Lengthy periods of stress can cause havoc all over your body – increased blood pressure, weakened immune system, higher risk of insomnia, etc. With that said, the importance of stress management can't be 'overstressed'. Journaling, or expressive writing, is an excellent tool for this. In 'Advances in Psychiatric Treatment' (1994-2014), published by Cambridge University, the researchers showed that participants in a study who wrote about traumatic, stressful or emotional events were significantly less likely to get sick and were ultimately less seriously affected by trauma, than their non-journaling counterparts. Are you feeling stressed? Write it down, as acting in the present moment will benefit your future.
Boost your confidence
Like there are many reasons people journal, there are many different approaches to it that encourage different outcomes. For obvious reasons, boosting one's mood is a popular outcome, and just the simple notion of jotting down your thoughts, concerns and ambitions can have a positive effect on your mood. More specifically, writing down affirmations is a surefire way to kickstart a day that has every intention of being productive. It's human nature that we are accustomed to negative emotions and self-doubt, and counteracting such feelings with positive affirmations keeps you moving forward. For example, many of us are inclined to feel 'imposter syndrome' in the workplace. You can't expect your colleagues or boss to reassure you that you are meant to be there. So, reaffirming to yourself that you are in the right place will help alleviate those feelings.
Organisation and accountability
Journaling is the best tool for organisation and accountability. Science has shown that by writing things down, such as to-do lists, goals, ideas and plans, you're 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve them than those who don't write them down. What's more, writing down ideas not only stores the information in physical form – i.e. in your Awling Journal – but it's also encoding, which is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain's hippocampus. From there, our brains decide what's stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. By keeping a record of such things, you're making yourself accountable: you have a readily available resource that reminds you of what you need to accomplish – on a micro or macro level.