Keeping a diary has been linked to a number of cognitive and emotional benefits, including improved intelligence quotient (IQ). Several studies have shown that writing regularly can have a direct correlation with increasing one's IQ. Writing forces you to think and express yourself in established linguistic forms, which requires the acquisition of new vocabulary. A report from the University of Victoria noted that “Writing as part of language learning has a positive correlation with intelligence.”In addition to improving your IQ, journaling can also help improve your emotional intelligence.
This means developing the ability to name, elaborate, manage and control your emotions, as well as empathize with others. As a result, your thinking becomes clearer, your decisions become more constructive, and you feel less nervous and stressed. All this makes you a healthier person. Keeping a journal also brings you into a state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their advantage in the present moment. Whether those conversations are with yourself, with a friend, or with your boss, the benefits of keeping a journal will help you express your thoughts.
Keeping a long-term diary can cause less stress and better sleep, which helps improve cognitive and immune functions. Other tips on how to keep a journal may include elements of performance analysis, describing your experiences, writing statements of your self-esteem, recording your successes, or perhaps “chatting” with yourself as a child. It's intriguing to note that not all the benefits of keeping a diary go away over time if you don't practice keeping a journal regularly. Interestingly, writing diary entries on a laptop or even on a phone can produce equally positive effects as writing by hand. Research by Dr. Pennebaker has found that even a single session of 15 to 30 minutes to write a journal focused on writing can be beneficial.
Of course, anyone who keeps a journal should have the deliberate goal of tidying up their writing to see benefits in their verbal communication. Labeling emotions and recognizing traumatic events as natural results of journaling have been known to have positive effects on people. In fact, journaling is great in the long run, equipping you with learning and strategies to use in future scenarios.