A pen coupled with paper is a powerful life tool— especially for flight attendants.
A new year often feels like a blank page. There is freedom in the openness, beauty amidst the opportunity, and relief in starting fresh. You may have promised yourself to carry some habits with you, while others you vow to throw out with the garbage of years past. One beneficial habit to start (or continue) this year, especially for flight attendants, is journaling.
Journaling your thoughts, dreams, ideas, and plans can transform yourself and your life as a flight attendant. Before you say, “Well, Kara, you are a writer… of course jotting down notes would help you. I don’t see how journaling can help me,” allow me to explain five reasons why every flight attendant needs to start journaling and how that little pen and paper practice is powerful in improving your mood, cognitive functioning, creativity, and mental health. And for a flight attendant’s life, that is life-giving.
- Find Clarity — Our minds can be noisy. A good way to find your center and stay grounded in an up in the air life is to write the noise down on paper. Throughout my years as a flight attendant, with a schedule that meant I was often home only two days a week or constantly in different locations, I would inevitably feel unsettled, my mind fuzzy. This wasn’t always due to jet lag. Daily journaling helped combat the confusion surrounding my work world and find internal clarity, allowing me to show up better amid the most unsettling of days.
- Manage Stress and Emotions — According to The University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health. Jotting down anxieties, fears, and concerns in a notebook allows you to prioritize problems and fears and offers your brain another perspective to look at what is causing you discomfort or pain. It’s almost as if journaling frees you from what is bottled up inside, without judgment or rules. Often, this is a beginning step to releasing stress, fear, and negative emotion.
- Talk Back to the Negative — Journaling is a great way to talk back to that negative voice in your head in a profound and physical way. By writing down positive affirmations in the face of negative, you bring a physical action to deal with areas you may struggle with. As flight attendants, we often present our best smile and happy face, but inside we find ourselves battling— ourselves! I’ve never met a more beautiful, driven, fun, and unique group of individuals than flight attendants. Flight Attendants are these Type-A-Gem-Unicorns of the world that are kind to all of their friends and people around them, but don’t offer themselves the same grace. Journaling is a way to implement grace for YOU!
- Increased Cognitive Functioning — In a study conducted by the journal Frontiers in Psychology, regions of the brain associated with learning were more active when subjects completed a task by hand instead of on a keyboard. We remember more when we write things down!
- Better Health — A University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher hypothesizes that regular and daily journaling practices strengthen immune cells and can decrease symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, journaling improves mental health as writing down stressful events is a process of healing, giving an individual a chance to accept and forgive the experiences.
If you would like to get into the habit of journaling, I’ve included free, downloadable journal prompts. Just click here, add your email to the newsletter list, and get access to the journal prompts. Remember to confirm your email address to stay in the loop:)
If you are looking for a journal that will inspire you to add this practice into your daily routine, Flight Attendant Life has created a collection of travel-inspired notebooks for flight attendants and aviation professionals. Each journal serves a purpose, whether that is to capture your memories from an ‘up-in-the-air life,’ set a daily intention, or create space to note your hopes and dreams. You can shop the journals by clicking here.
As flight attendants, our health is essential and that includes both a healthy body and a healthy mind. You have a blank page in front of you. So, how will you write your story this year?