While attending the American Holistic Nurses Association conference this past week, I listened to a presentation on self care. As a registered nurse, I have always appreciated the need for self care, but it is important for everyone. For many, it is difficult to accomplish due to the inability to set aside time, feelings of guilt because one looks at it as self indulgence, or simply not recognizing how needed it is. Everyone needs to have some form of self care strategy.

One way to engage in self care is by keeping a journal. Here are 5 benefits of keeping a journal:

1. Experience Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a buzz word these days and for good reason. There is an explosion of scientific research demonstrating how mindfulness is healthy for the function of the brain.

2. Increases Memory

By writing it helps fix ideas more firmly in our minds, thus greater recall later.

3. Achieving Goals

Writing in a journal, we can see how far we’ve come and how much we have left to accomplish.

4. Healing

“Journal therapy is all about using personal material as a way of documenting an experience, and learning more about yourself in the process.”  Kathleen Adams, LPC, a Colorado-based psychotherapist and author of Journal to the Self.

5. Self reflection

Re-read what you’ve written and many times there will be an ‘aha’ moment which can reveal deeper, more profound levels of insight.