We all know the power of keeping a journal for your well being, whether we’ve had the luck to actually experience the benefits of it or not, there is a breathing space, a clarity of thought that comes with putting pen to paper.
However – this clarity of thought isn’t the only benefit, journaling is now being backed by countless studies to have a tonne of other benefits, with a particularly interesting knock-on effect in the area of personal growth.
An advocate of journaling
As an advocate of journaling (I’ve been journaling since I can remember), I can attest to the profound and positive impact it has had on my life.
As a mother – the thought arises time and time again – I imagine how my kids would benefit if they got to discover the joy of journaling at their age.
How amazing a gift would that be to give them?
To help spread the word, we have compiled some of these scientifically backed benefits and show just how Journaling can help Teens grow.
Stress and challenges in life are a certainty, we can all agree. Life, and living it, can be chaotic and messy. How we frame and reflect on that makes all the difference.
We have a choice there. How we react to stress and stressful events is a choice.
Stress is a major issue rising among teens. “75% of mental illnesses start before a child reaches their 18th birthday, while 50% of mental health problems in adult life (excluding dementia) take root before the age of 15.”
Keeping a Journal – writing, putting pen to paper – provides a positive outlet, can help teenagers tame their stress and learn to make sense of their emotions.
It helps to identify the cause of their stress, anxieties or whatever is troubling them.
And then the next step, how to handle it, is more easily and confidently taken. Goals are set more clearly, and they become more tangible and attainable.
So as parents we can rest assured that, even with the scary thought of life’s setbacks, our teens can have a selection of coping mechanisms and skills that help them to navigate life’s ups and downs with a little more grace and ease.
Mindfulness – a buzz word as of late, and for good reason. It’s widely associated with greater happiness, giving more meaning to our experiences and more focus on what is important to us.
Guess what? Journaling also elicits a state of mind similar to mindfulness.
By putting pen to paper teens become more aware of thoughts, feelings, and wishes that are important to them.
Somehow keeping a journal makes us take notice of the world within us, and of that around us.
When we write down our observations, we make connections, we see value, and what we focus on starts to gain value and meaning.
With the rapid adoption of technology and screens, neuroscientists the world over are strongly against the decline in putting pen to paper.
This is because there is a neural circuitry that occurs that helps us learn and remember better than if we use tech, which triggers a different part of the brain and uses the repetitive, less complex activity of typing.
So basically – because of how our brains are wired, we remember something we’ve written better than something we’ve typed.
Simply put – writing and journaling notes is a process of revision and helps us to remember things better.
Better learning means better exam results, better remembering important facts, more focus, easier decision making, and thus getting more out of life and learning.
By putting pen to paper, for example during note-taking, we are already filtering the information we are hearing.
Our minds select and condense the information, because we simply talk or type faster than we can write.
Writing is an effective way of processing information and makes a major difference in learning, applying and recalling knowledge.
As our societies slowly begin to move away from the obsession with sleep deprivation as a badge of honour or cost of success, we’re beginning to wake up to the true importance of sleep in terms of growth, recovery and health and wellbeing.
Sleep is especially important during our Teen years for growth and development. “The life of today’s teenager is busy and in constant flux.
They have increasing responsibilities at school and at home, their social lives are expanding, their independence is growing, and they’re making plans for their future.
Adolescence is a time of significant maturation—physical, emotional, intellectual. Sleep fuels these important processes. Good, plentiful sleep is essential to teens’ development, growth, and quality of life.”
In fact don’t be afraid to let your Teen take power naps, they can do the world of good!
Screen activity is taking away precious sleeping time from our adolescents. Bringing back some analogue, offline activity positively influences sleep and wellbeing.
By writing things down that we are grateful for, or ‘parking’ recurring thoughts for the night, for example, can already lead to better, deeper and longer sleep.
By developing NOSO Journal, my sister and I are on a mission to us to share the benefits of keeping a journal with Teenagers. NOSO Journal is an integrated diary and notebook to help Teens experience the power of putting pen to paper.
They get to UNPLUG and really connect with themselves through journaling, which is an important skill for teenagers to learn and will boost their confidence and wellbeing to boot.
Do you or your Teenager write a journal? We’d love to hear from you about the impact of doing so.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below….
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