Journaling (the practice of writing about your thoughts and feelings) is a powerful tool that influences your body, mind, and spirit. In the last 20 years or so scientists have been researching the benefits of journaling and have found some amazing results. James Pennebaker, Ph.D., has found that journaling helps boost the immune system, reduce stress, manage pain, and enhance well-being.
So how do you get the most out of journaling? I suggest that people write in their journal every day (or at least most days) for 10-20 minutes. The most important thing is to keep your journal private. When you know that no one else will read your writing, it is easier to put your inner most thoughts and feelings down on paper. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar… or even writing complete sentences. It is best to let yourself go and write. Simply write from your heart and be honest about your thoughts and feelings.
Journaling is especially helpful when you are going through a difficult time. There's something almost magical about putting those thoughts and feelings onto paper that helps decrease the intensity and give you perspective. It is also helpful to write in your journal when you are doing well. Then when you are struggling or going through a bad time you can pull out your journal and read your positive entries to inspire you and help you move through the difficult times.
If you are looking for an easy self improvement tool, get out your journal and write! Write about the good, the bad, and the ugly.