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Post by: Nick Venturella
Journaling has real, physical and mental health benefits, according to Michael Grothaus’ article published in Fast Company Magazine (2015), “Why Journaling is Good for Your Health (And 8 Tips to Get Better).”
The article featured Dr. James Pennebaker, a psychologist and leading expert in the field of Expressive Writing (EW), which is a specific type of journaling.
The article identifies that journaling can strengthen immune cells (for science folks these are T-lymphocytes) and has been associated with decreases in depressive behaviors, anxiety as well as increases in positive mood, social engagement and improvement in the quality of close relationships.
Inspired by this, I began examining my own journal writing habits to determine why I personally found it useful toward my own goal achievement and overall mood.
It turns out there is a ton of research on growth mindset, optimism, and journaling self-care benefits:
The point is there is evidence that taking, even a little bit of, time each day to self-reflect and put to pen to paper can improve your life.
There are three main components of the GrowLoop Journal
Ideally, the more you use the journal to develop the daily habit of expressing your thoughts and completing the prompts, you increase your likelihood of being more engaged, productive, confident and optimistic, which positions you for success and better equips you to overcome challenges and obstacles that might otherwise derail you.
For each prompt you complete each day you’ll get a score. Then based on your score and mood you’ll rate your happiness in the Happiness Tracker within the journal using a green, yellow, red system (green = good, yellow = okay, red = not good).
Over time you can see trends related to how your daily writing, completing the prompts, and taking action towards your goals is affecting your mood. (The visual of using actual Green, Yellow and Red colors to fill in these boxes – vs. just writing in the letter that represents the color – allows these trends to stand out easier, in my opinion.)
The Happiness Tracker is a summary over time of how your journaling practice and goal pursuit is making you feel, and the Goal pages in the front of the journal, along with your documented monthly achievement summaries, shows your progress toward meeting your goals.
The more you take action to accomplish your goals, the more likely you’ll be happier with a positive outlook, and vice versa, the better you feel about yourself and your mood, the more likely you’ll take the necessary actions to achieve your goals.
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