Journaling: The Key Towards Productivity
By: Melissa Camacho
Journaling and expressive writing increases your productivity because it can reduce stress and anxiety while increasing your self-confidence. Expressive Writing is a useful healing tool that provides a platform where you can freely be open about your thoughts and emotions. By relieving overwhelming emotions, journaling can boost your energy to focus and expand on your goals and desires (Roomer). When your mind is constantly filled with worries, it can make your ruminating thoughts more intense.
You need to find a moment where you can release an overload of emotional distress occurring repeatedly in your mind. Are you ready to release those emotions and lead more towards the path of motivation? Let’s start by framing your mind to be less stressed and worried, and becoming more productive.
In this article, you will understand and learn how journaling and expressive writing can transform your thoughts and emotions towards productivity.
Defining Productivity and How it Relates to Journaling
First, let’s tap on the term “productivity.” So, how can we define productivity in terms of improving our mental health or well-being? Productivity is defined as encompassing a combination of mental energy, physical energy, and motivation to be efficient in focusing and performing day-to-day activities (How to Increase Productivity). Feeling stressed about difficult situations that occur or going through trauma is something you can manage through productivity. It is vital towards your mental health. Practicing journaling or expressive writing helps to serve that purpose. Next, you will learn how the health benefits of journaling contribute to helping you become less stressed by becoming more productive.
How Journaling Your Emotions Transforms to Productive Thoughts
According to a research study conducted by Harvard Business School, journaling increases a person’s productivity by over 20% due to the ability to reflect and learn from past experiences to make future decisions (Trifone). This means that through journaling, you are able to have a clearer picture of the events that led to emotional trauma. As a result, you are creating self-awareness by your own self-expression through expressive writing. When journaling, you are in the process of validating and labeling your emotions which works to (O’Brien):
- activate the part of your brain which is responsible for regulating emotions and decision-making called the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex
- weaken brain activity that arouses emotions related to fear, sadness, and anxiety known as the amygdala
Learning from the occurrence of brain activity through journaling, shifting your focus from overwhelming thoughts is a key step towards productivity. This means that as you release your emotions, productive thoughts begin to develop in your mind. In the next section, you will learn how other health benefits of journaling motivates you towards being productive.
Journaling to Boost Productivity as a Mental Health Treatment
Around 17.3 million people in the U.S. suffer from depression and pursue productivity to cope with their mental health (How to Cope with Depression at Work). According to Everyday Health, taking a moment to focus on self-care and goal-oriented tasks reduces symptoms of depression. Clinical studies also prove that journaling minimizes symptoms of depression and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and promotes cardiovascular health (Smyth). Getting enough sleep treats your mental health by releasing hormones that provide mental energy to focus on your daily tasks or routines (How Sleep Can Improve Your Focus and Productivity). Journaling helps you get better sleep because it’s a healthy way to declutter intense thoughts and emotions, thus encouraging you to write about your goals (Breus).
To conclude, writing down your thoughts stimulates brain activity and strengthens your ability to focus. Your focus begins to move in a different direction where you elaborate on your emotions. Journaling over time heals your mental and physical health by motivating you towards productivity. As you filter your thoughts and emotions through journaling, you are creating more room to think creatively and be proactive.
Our journaling program at The Love Story is designed to help you release your emotions, simplify your thoughts, and lead you towards the path of productivity by empowering you to discover your true passion in life.
O’Brien, Irena “The Scientific Benefits of Journaling for your Brain!” The Coaching Tools Company. 4 Aug 2022, https://www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com/scientific-benefits-of-journaling-for-your-brain-dr-irena-obrien/
Roomer, Jari “How to Journal For A Highly Productive, Successful, and Stress Free Day” Medium. https://medium.com/personal-growth-lab/how-to-journal-for-a-highly-productive-successful-and-stress-free-day-9ffbacacf6ec. Accessed 15 Oct 2022.
Smyth, Joshua M et al. “Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial.” JMIR mental health vol. 5,4 e11290. 10 Dec. 2018, doi:10.2196/11290
Trifone, Danny “The Science-Backed Benefits of Journaling” Thrive Global. 20 Apr 2021, https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-science-backed-benefits-of-journaling/
Breus, Michael “How Sleep Journaling Helps You Sleep” The Sleep Doctor. 09 Sept 2022. https://thesleepdoctor.com/sleep-hygiene/sleep-journal/
“How to Cope with Depression at Work” Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/depression/depression-at-work. Accessed 17 Oct 2022
“How to Increase Productivity” Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/productivity/increasing-productivity. Accessed 15 Oct 2022
“How Sleep Can Improve Your Focus and Productivity” Solistic Health. https://synergyholistichealth.com/how-sleep-can-improve-your-focus-and-productivity/. Accessed 17 Oct 2022