Did you know that journaling can change your life and improve your language skills?

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What did Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill share?

They all wrote in journals!

In truth, it has been discovered that many smart people in the past – like writers, people who make new things, and people who bring new ideas – wrote in journals. Research has shown that writing in a journal is a good way to make your imagination work better, to get better at thinking about things, and to help you make choices.

What is journaling?

Journaling means writing your thoughts and ideas. You do this on paper or on a computer. You do it often. It is like keeping a diary. In the last few years, many people have started to use it. They use it to keep their mind healthy.

Why journaling is good for you?

  1. Improves your language skills – Writing in a journal can make your language skills better. This includes your writing and other language skills. Each time you write in English, you use new words and remember grammar rules you’ve learned. You also get better at thinking in English. The way you arrange ideas and words becomes clearer to you as you write sentences and read what you write each day. The more you write, the better you get at saying what you mean in English.
  2. Clears your mind – Writing in a journal regularly can make your mind clearer. When you write down your thoughts, you free up energy that you use to keep them in your mind. This lets you see things more clearly and solve problems better. It’s like when you have many tasks to do and you write them all down first. Doing this lets you see which tasks you need to do first and which ones you can do later.
  3. Relieves stress – Science has shown that writing in a journal helps people deal with stress and worry. It’s like talking to someone without being interrupted.
  4. Encourages personal growth – If you notice that you write about the same problems all the time, or if the same plans and goals are always on your “to-do” list, it might make you want to take action. When you write about everyday events, you will start to see patterns in your behavior. Knowing these patterns will help you see what you need to get better at or stop doing.
  5. It makes you more creative – Many artists do what they call “stream of consciousness” writing to unlock their creative potential. This means writing whatever is on your mind every morning right after waking up. This can help you unblock thoughts and think more clearly.

How to start journaling:

You will need:

  • Time – Plan a time to think and write. This can be a short time like 5-10 minutes before you start your job in the morning, or before you go to bed at night. Find a quiet place where you won’t be bothered.
  • Something to write on – You can write in a notebook, or on a computer or phone. There are also many free online diaries. You can find suggestions here: 5 killer online journaling tools you should try out.
  • A goal – Some people begin by writing 100-200 words each day, some write less. The choice is yours but it’s good to have a goal in mind to keep you focused.

What should you write about?

  • Write about anything. It can be what you experienced, learned or discovered.
  • Write about memories, dreams, plans and goals.
  • Describe an object, person or place.
  • Write a letter to someone or to yourself.

You can write a paragraph or a list. Write down your thoughts in a simple and understandable way.

Remember:

  • Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or style. It doesn’t have to be great writing. You will improve as you go.
  • Be honest.
  • It’s alright if you miss one day. Take it up again anytime.
  • Read your journal at the end of the week or month. You will learn more about yourself. You will see how your language skills improve.

 
Sources: How to keep a journal to speed up your language learning, Sophia Anderson, linguasorb; Journal writing: 5 smart reasons why you should start doing it today, Ericson Ay Mires, Lifehack; Keeping a daily journal could change your life, Benjamin Hardy, Mission.org; and The life-changing habit of journaling, Thomas Oppong, Thrive Global. Accessed April 11, 2019.

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