A Celebrity Life Coach Says This One Change In Your Routine Will Make You Happier & I'm Down

A few weeks ago, I dug up a diary that I'd started when I was about 10 years old. As I flipped through the sparkly gel pen (remember those days?) pages, I felt guilty that I had only kept up the practice sporadically as I got older. Besides reminding you of all your middle school crushes, it turns out that keeping a diary can actually improve your happiness. In an interview with Elite Daily, Dr. Stacia Pierce, a celebrity life coach and founder/CEO of LifeCoach2Women, reveals how to change your mindset and find happiness through the practice of regular journaling.

Keep in mind, consistency is crucial to reaping the full benefits of this habit, says Pierce. By writing every day, you'll begin to really integrate the mindfulness of journaling into your life. This mindset shift means prioritizing your journaling time each day, but with a little practice, it will become a natural part of your schedule. "Consistency is key!" Dr. Pierce tells Elite Daily. "What you do in repetition will become a part of your life."

It may seem daunting to add another step to your daily routine, but the science behind mindfulness meditation backs up Dr. Pierce's suggestion that consistent, mindful journaling can help empower you. Through the introspective act of writing a daily journal entry, you'll find that you're able to connect with yourself on a much deeper level.

Research shows that greater self-awareness, which you can gain through journaling, helps cut down on something called "self-discrepancy," which is the gap between your "actual self" and your "ideal self."

Keeping a regular journal can be effective for organizing your vision, Dr. Pierce tells Elite Daily. Whether that vision is nailing your dream job, accomplishing a health goal, or completing the passion project you've been working toward, the act of writing down your thoughts and plans can help you maintain focus and grow into your ideal version of yourself. "Journaling enables you to align your mind and emotions and focus on your truest desires," Pierce tells Elite Daily. "Not only is it a great cleansing exercise, but it will also empower you by building momentum, faith, and determination to reach your goals."

While it’s great to write about your goals and the everyday details of your life, writing about tougher subjects can have a huge payoff for your mental health, as well. A study published in the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment back in January showed that journaling about traumatic events can be an extremely effective way to improve both your physical and psychological well-being. But unlike a lighter day's thoughts, this type of entry may not be the best one to look back at a few days later.

According to Pierce, it's important that you're careful about which journal entries you read back over.

Generally speaking, it's good to read back over your journal entries to get a sense of where you've been, and where you're going. However, Dr. Pierce tells Elite Daily, it can be unhealthy to read over a darker entry like a rant, or an entry about something traumatic, because that could rehash your negative feelings, she says. At the same time, Pierce adds, if you're struggling with a physical or mental health issue, the daily practice of recording these difficult moments could help you address what's going on.

The University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that tracking different symptoms or triggers can be useful for looking at the bigger picture of your physical or mental health. By keeping a close record of what you're dealing with on a daily basis, instead of relying on your memory, you may start to see patterns that help you adjust your lifestyle as needed. Like the ability to recognize a pattern, the practice of journaling regularly takes some time to feel natural.

If you're getting excited about journaling, but are unsure how to get started, Dr. Pierce tells Elite Daily that a great way to begin is to make sure you can write on the fly.

"Carry your journal everywhere with you to capture ideas, thoughts, and plans on the go," the life coach suggests. Her guided Success Journal may be a good starting place, especially if starting from scratch in a blank notebook feels a little intimidating.

It can also be useful to stick to a general outline when it comes to your daily journaling: Dr. Pierce filled Elite Daily in on her own manifestation process, which includes writing an entry of what she wants to happen in present tense, and then repeating that each day. "It works like magic because the process allows your mind, body, and soul to align around your goal so that you can achieve it," she says.

In case none of this inspires you to start journaling, perhaps I should fill you in on the fact that, apparently, Michael B. Jordan is also a fan of writing diary entries. And if it's good enough for Michael B. Jordan, it's good enough for me. No, I'm totally not going to write "I love Michael" 100 times in my journal.