18 January 2022 

Be Like Ben: 6 Key Benefits of Keeping a Diary

Benjamin Franklin began each day by asking himself, "What can I do well today?" Ben, (it sounds like he's a friend) wrote his goals and objectives down in his diary. Finally, he would review each of his intentions at the end of the day, noting how he could improve on the stuff he didn't do so well. We know Ben was brilliant, but it appears he was further ahead of the curve than suspected. Today scientific research has validated what he knew. Keeping a diary has many subconscious and emotional benefits. 

Here are a few of them:

Advance your Self Awareness

Keeping a diary offers the chance to improve your self-awareness. It's like a one on one way to really know yourself. Being aware of who you allow you to communicate your feelings tangibly. In addition, the act of writing provides a mechanism that can unlock the thoughts and feelings you might be neglecting.  

Manage your nerves

Keeping a diary can decrease our stresses and calm our nerves in potentially stressful situations. Maintaining a diary of your feelings and emotions surrounding difficult circumstances enables you to develop a sense of control and, therefore, reduce your anxieties.

Improve brain power

Self-awareness gives you the capacity to critically investigate how you think. This means assessing how well you performed and what caused your achievements and frustrations. Research has shown that personalities who keep diaries are more perceptive as they develop adequate preparation, monitoring, and self-questioning strategies. This is a key part of developing mindfulness and in doing so stimulates the brain. Impressive eh. 

Reduce time-wasting

Diaries can improve an individual's time management. It is well-known that we underestimate the time it will take to complete a future task. (like this blog!!!) By utilising a diary, we can assess our past actions in order to better plan for jobs ahead. In short, a diary allows you to plan.

Improve Memory

Say what? Diaries have been shown to improve our memories by allowing us to retain information for greater periods. We're not saying you'll become a genius, but expressive, honest writing frees up space in your brain by removing interfering and avoidant thoughts. 

Improve Mindfulness

It sounds trivial, but in today's world, happiness is essential. There is data that shows keeping a diary can make you happier. Whilst it seems like a trivial task, diary-keeping has been shown to reduce depressive thoughts and behaviours by providing the writer with increased control. It's all about accentuating the positivity. Being happy has also been seen to have long-lasting effects on mental health. It's not just a quick fix.

Be like Ben

We all won't turn into Benjamin Franklin just by keeping a diary, but diaries have helped people in all walks of life for aeons. It's also much cheaper than counselling! So, be like Ben, write down your targets, reflect on how well they went and consciously try to improve them for the next day. Give yourself the best chance of success.