Reduced stress. Better moods, more often. Improved memory. What’s not to like about journaling, and why doesn’t everybody do it, every day?
Well, they should. And even someone like myself, who has journaled for years, and is not only aware of the benefits, but has personally experienced them time and time again, still forgets, runs out of time, or on some days, simply doesn’t feel it. But while none of those things are valid excuses, in the moment, they often come in handy.
Before we dig into how Thrive can help increase and improve your journaling, let’s first step back and talk about journaling, in general, and it’s benefits. Thanks in advance for reading.
Why We Keep Journals
Keeping a journal, preferable daily, achieves a lot of things. First, it serves as a record of our daily life. Journaling gives us a chance to describe what happened to us – at a minimum the most important events – trying to recall and capture as many details as we can. We know how quickly our memory fades, particularly if not reinforced, which is why daily journaling is so important.
Journaling also helps us capture experiences. In these cases, we go beyond the ‘what happened’, and get into how something felt, or how we felt in that moment. We try to not only recreate a moment, but to understand the significance – what did the moment mean?
And, of course, journaling provides us with a moment for reflection. In a fast paced world, made even more distracting with the constant flow of information the internet and social media provide, it can be hard to clear our heads and simply reflect. Things are constantly happening to us, but how often do we take the time to actually analyze and understand those things? Without actively making the time, through journaling, for example, it’s unfortunately something we rarely do.
The Benefits of Journaling
Besides providing a chronicle of our daily lives, journaling is believed to provide numerous mental and emotional benefits, ranging from better moods to enhanced memory.
So, how does journaling improve our mood? There is a lot to unpack here, so let’s cover the top line benefits to our moods. First, journaling reinforces positive events from our days. At Thrive, we strongly believe that positivity is a powerful force, and it’s reinforcement not only makes us feel better in the moment, but helps us to understand how to achieve that feeling more often.
What we’re really achieving here is increased self-awareness. An opportunity for self-reflection, whether reinforcing positive events or moving past negative ones, helps us regulate our emotions. When we give ourselves the opportunity to understand our experiences, we give ourselves the chance to improve our confidence with an increased sense of control.
Finally, with an increase in self-awareness and control, we can expect to feel more prepared for what events may lie ahead. We become more in tune with how different types of events affect us, and how we best manage varying types of situations.
While there is no guarantee that journaling will immediately yield all these benefits, I can’t think of anything else in this world that has the potential to provide such impactful results with such little investment – after all, it doesn’t take any special talents or training to journal. It just takes the time and the willingness to honestly explore your day-to-day life.
Digital Journaling with Thrive
I mentioned earlier that remembering and finding the time to journal isn’t always easy. There is another reason many of us who actively pursue journaling end up with blank pages – writers block. It can be extremely difficult to sit down, think about what’s happened to us recently, and then just begin writing.
Fortunately for you (and me) Thrive can help.
Unlike traditional journaling – picture sitting at your desk, opening a leather bound book, fancy pen in hand – Thrive Digital Journaling comes to you. Whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, randomly, once a day, multiple times per day, or a mix of it all, Thrive prompts you to journal, sending you a text message or email.
Thrive can also use prompts to provide context to a journal entry, helping to get our wheels turning. For example, even a prompt as simple as, “What’s something that made you laugh today?”, is typically enough to push you past writer’s block to get the words flowing.
Our team has always seen the potential of a Thrive Digital Journal, but things really kicked off when a client reached out with a request:
As leadership coaches, this client works with senior executives who have enrolled in a year-long program that combines reading, learning sessions, and weekend retreats – they also use Thrive to deliver and reinforce important concepts and information!
During the year, these executives choose specific leadership qualities they’d like to focus on in the months ahead. They are also expected to use a journal to reflect on both struggles and successes they are experiencing in each area.
The difficult parts? Finding the time to journal, remembering to journal, and accurately recalling events well enough to explore and analyze different situations.
Thrive is helping by developing a Digital Journal for our client that will prompt them as often as they would like to type a quick journal entry. Thrive can even incorporate the skills they want to focus on into prompts, reminding them of their focus and providing some context.
For example, let’s say a leader is focusing on Communication throughout the year. Thrive can reach out via text message or email, and ask a simple prompt such as “What’s an example of effective communication you experienced today? Why was it effective?”.
Once someone has completed a journal entry, they can then log into their Personal Portals at any time to review previous entries – allowing them to track their progress and look for trends in their leadership development.
All in one interaction Thrive is providing:
- A convenient reminder to journal.
- Context to get people focused and writing.
- A place to capture the journal entry.
- An easy way to explore and review past entries.
Thrive’s Digital Journal is a new idea we’re currently implementing and testing out, so if you’re curious about it, please reach out via our contact form, or feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!