Journaling or expressive writing allows people to communicate their feelings and thoughts on paper. It has been used for thousands of years, and for good reason, as it has shown to have many mental, emotional, and physical health benefits.
- Reducing the intensity of negative feelings and speeding up emotional recovery.
- Improving mood and emotional well-being.
- Helping to alleviate the impact of stress on your physical health.
- Helping you focus, solve problems, and organize experiences by engaging both your analytical and creative sides of your brain.
- Learning about yourself, your feelings, and experiences.
- Clarifying your thoughts and feelings.
- Better understanding of stressors and ability to reflect in a more neutral and detached way.
- Acts as a healthy coping mechanism to reduce stress levels.
- Confidence building as you reflect on previous entries to see how you have overcome difficulties in the past.
- Improving memory by allowing you to free up cognitive resources for other mental processes.
- Reducing depression symptoms by allowing you to process thoughts that may continually be bottled up.
How to start:
- Practice 20 minutes daily for the most benefits. Start with writing when you are feeling stressed, 2-3 days a week.
- Write with a pen and paper.
- Ensure your writing is private so you can be open with yourself.
- There are no rules. Begin by writing out your feelings or about something emotional or stressful.
- Write quickly to avoid writer’s block; pay little attention to grammar or punctuation.
If journaling leads to any negative emotional spirals, take a step back and seek the support of a psychologist and change your writing to a more positive topic.
Axelrod, J. (2016, May 17). The Health Benefits of Journaling. PsychCentral. https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling#1
Ketler, A. (2017, Jan 23). Scientific Studies Show How Writing In A Journal Can Actually Benefit Your Emotional & Physical Well-Being. Collective Evolution. https://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/01/23/scientific-studies-show-how-writing-in-a-journal-can-actually-benefit-your-emotional-physical-well-being/
D’Alessio, F. (2018, Dec 28). The Science Behind Journaling: How the Brain Reacts. Therachat. https://blog.therachat.io/science-of-journaling/