Did you know that journaling is good for your health? As much as I love to write - books, blog posts, comments, or articles - I have never been much of a journaler. Didn't stick. When someone suggested it over the summer, in a generic comment without further instructions, it also didn't hit home.
Now I am taking Jennifer Grace's 8-week Creative Insight Journey program, based on Michael Ray's original 1979 Stanford MBA course on birthing business people's creative potential, and journaling and meditation are part of the program. So I must. But this time it also comes with specific instructions on proven methods, and that makes all the difference.
First instruction - only five minutes a day. That's nothing. Everyone can find five minutes.
Second instruction - if at all possible do it right after waking and before you brush teeth and start your morning routine. This catches you in a semi-awake state when your subconscious is still bubbling.
Third instruction - write whatever comes to mind, non-stop, without questioning yourself, never mind grammar and punctuation, if you get stuck repeat your last sentence or word, keep going until your timer pings.
Fourth instruction - dump, dump, dump - consider it the opposite of a colon cleanse - all out the top, out of your mind, out of your system, an emotional cleanse.
Grace offers several other journaling methods in her accompanying book Directing Your Destiny, and if you really want to get into it she recommends social psychologist and writing therapy pioneer James Pennebaker's How Expressive Writing Improves Health and Eases Emotional Pain, next on my book purchase list.
Do you journal? It's cheap. You can do it at home. Only takes five minutes. May improve your health. No side effects.