Life is busy, and if you don’t currently have a writing practice, it may not sound appealing to add one more thing to your schedule. But as many of the great minds of history and thought leaders of today will tell you – the many benefits of daily writing far outweigh the small time investment that’s required. Even five-to-ten minutes a day can be transformative.

Here are 8 ways writing can transform your life:

1. Self-knowledge Our experiences in life are shaped by our perceptions. Through self-awareness you’ll illuminate how past experiences, beliefs, and your own personality traits are playing out in your life. Simply understanding why you are triggered by events or shy away from certain people and situations is the first step in healing, moving forward and living an authentic life.

2. Clarity Having a way to clear your mind every day is invaluable. After the words start pouring onto the page day after day, you’ll find that you have far greater clarity on your inner landscape, like your hopes, dreams and fears.

3. Emotional intelligence When you know yourself better, you’ll be able to manage your emotions in healthier ways. You’ll also increase your empathy, which lends to better relationships with others.

4. New revelations Nothing can provide insight like the writing process. Your mind will start making new connections and the answers you had been searching for will start revealing themselves through your writings.

5. Better achievements Science shows that those who regularly journal are better at achieving their goals. Through daily writing, you’ll better know what goals to go after, because you’ll be following your own inner guidance over outside voices. This will lead to not just better achievements, but ones that are more genuine and meaningful.

6. Brain boosting There are mountains of evidence that shows that writing is a great way to keep your mind sharp. You’ll boost your memory, comprehension and vocabulary. It’s also a great way to decrease signs of aging, like dementia.

7. Inspiring Once you have the creativity faucet turned on, you’ll find that the flow extends beyond your writing practice. Creativity begets creativity. Inspirations will start coming to you in unexpected ways.

8. Healing Journaling lowers stress, anxiety, and fears. It provides an emotional release, and is an excellent source of healing emotionally, physically and psychologically.

How do you get started with a daily writing practice?

There is no wrong way to journal. Ideally you would write around the same time each day. Most common is to journal in the morning, and even better if you can write again in the evenings. What’s most important is that you maintain a daily practice, however that works out best for you. 5-10 minutes a day is excellent, and if you can take 20 minutes, all the better. Find your flow. Take pen to paper and write, draw, make notes or lists. Many have found stream of consciousness writing (writing without editing yourself) to be valuable because it allows you to get out of your own way and hear your inner monologue more clearly. I’ve found this method to be useful over the years in my own journaling. Whatever writing form inspires you, I wish you wisdom, guidance and authenticity through this powerful practice.