The Health Benefits of Journaling
How Does Journaling Promote Health and Wellness?
Did you know that journaling has been shown to help you de-stress, eat healthier, boost self-confidence, and help you solve your own problems?
Journaling is a good way to help us to stop, take a step back, and reflect on ourselves. We can self-reflect on gratitude or what we did today and write it in our diary. Daily reflection can also be done at night before bed. We can look back at our life in a journal and think about how we’ve changed and what we can do to improve ourselves.
Journaling is a vehicle of emotional exploration, a way to channel difficult feelings into healthy and creative outcomes. It is a form of free self-expression that leads to exploration and personal growth. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you are forced to slow down and pay attention to everything that is going on in your life.
Reduce Depression and Anxiety
Writing down your feelings helps you to “brain-dump” your anxieties, frustrations, and pains in a journal. This can help you to reduce and release any stress which you have accumulated over time. A good way to relieve stress is to write in the stream of consciousness style first thing in the morning.
Both depression and anxiety are often accompanied by negative thoughts. Journaling allows you to get these thoughts down on paper, process them in a more analytical, non-emotional way, and then respond appropriately to them.
Many studies have shown that journaling can reduce overall levels of depression. Studies have also shown that writing in a journal can be as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy when it comes to reducing the risk of depression in young adults.
Instead of simply letting negative thoughts run rampant in your mind, journaling allows you to engage with your thoughts and determine whether they are true or false.
Keeping a Journal can Improve Memory Function
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that journaling can also improve overall memory function. When you journal, you are both recording and processing the events of a particular time period. As you do this, you are remembering and reflecting upon the details of the events, which then helps you retain those memories for a significantly longer amount of time.
Your brain is likely to store information that you have written down in a journal. Your brain will make stronger connections with the information you have learned after you write them down in a diary, making it easier for you to recall in the future.
Additionally, journaling allows you to analyze past events for patterns. As you look at your journal over time, you may begin to see particular patterns emerge, whether in your own behavior or in the behavior of others. Once you spot these patterns, you can respond appropriately.
Journal Writing Can Help Boost Immune Function
This may come as a surprise, but journaling has also been proven to improve overall immune function and decrease your risk of illness including fewer stress-related visits to the doctor, improved immune system functioning, reduced blood pressure, and improved lung and liver function.
Journaling allows a person to take the events they experience and integrate them into their overall perspective on life and enables a person to think more positively about their lives and create a more holistic picture of themselves in relation to the rest of the world. It follows that a person with a positive, holistic view of themselves is less prone to things like depression and anxiety, both of which can cause a variety of physical health problems.
Journaling Can Help With Recovery From Trauma
It has also been shown that journaling can help a person recover more quickly from traumatic events. Writing things down allows you to process what has occurred and see the good side of life, even when things are difficult. Journaling also allows you to directly confront the things you’ve experienced instead of avoiding them and not taking the time to process them.
How to Start Journaling
For someone who has never journaled, used a diary, or done any sort of personal writing, Journaling can feel awkward and even uncomfortable at first. But, there are many different approaches you or your clients can take when first dipping your toes into journaling.
Track Your Mood
The easiest way to start journaling is by using a bullet journaling mood tracker. There are many ways you can implement mood tracking in your journal. You can write your overall mood for the day. If you’re journaling throughout the day or covering key events, mention your specific mood at the time. If you’re wanting to write about specific topics, people, or events then you can also write your immediate emotional response.
If you’re journaling to gain a positive outlook, one of the best journaling techniques can be simply listing what you’re thankful for. It’s one of the best things to do on a daily basis. The most common approach is to list a few things that happened each day that you’re thankful for. It can be anything that you appreciated, no matter how big or small.
Our dreams and personal well-being have long been connected. Recording your dreams is a great journaling technique for both beginner and veteran journalers. This would be best done at the start of the day. You might not have vivid dreams every night — we’re all a little different in our dreaming intensity or frequency — but making it a ritual to record what you remember each morning will help ensure you get as much of it as possible down.
Inspiration and Goals
Each day, write the goals that you want to achieve (if you journal in the morning, do it for the day ahead; and if you journal at night, do it for tomorrow) and make a note of what you did the day before. Ticking off completed tasks is mentally and emotionally rewarding, and it’ll help drive you forward!
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