What is journaling?
Journaling is thinking about your life and writing a line about it. It is a written record of your thoughts, feelings, observations and ideas. Like a diary, it can contain your experiences and events.
What are the benefits of journaling?
As per a recent study, individuals with different medical conditions and anxiety levels who wrote online for 15 minutes three days a week over 12 weeks experienced enhanced feelings of well-being and reduced depressive symptoms after a month.
NOTE: Gratitude journaling for just a few minutes daily can improve your mental well-being.
Expressing yourself when overwhelming emotions overcome you helps you deal with it. A journal is a helpful tool to use for self-expression in managing your mental health – and controlling symptoms:
- Reduce anxiety and stress – Writing down your feelings about a difficult situation can help you understand it better. Please note that the timing of your writing matters. It is best to wait 48 hours before writing down what you remember about a traumatic event. If you write immediately after, it can increase the trauma.
- Cope with depression – Brain scans of people who wrote about their feelings showed that they were able to control their emotions better, which helps with emotional healing. Journalling can encourage a person to reach out for support.
- Help you escape the nonstop cycle of obsessively thinking and brooding over what happened.
Here are some ways that journaling can benefit you in improving your mood:
1. Prioritizing problems, fears, and concerns
By writing them down, you can better understand what is troubling you and work on solutions.
2. Tracking symptoms day-to-day
It helps you recognize triggers and learn ways to control them better.
3. Positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviours
- Journaling provides an opportunity to reflect on your thoughts and behaviours. By identifying negative patterns, you can work on replacing them with positive self-talk.
If you are dealing with a problem and it’s causing you stress and anxiety, writing in a journal can be a helpful tool. You can identify the root of your stress by jotting down your thoughts and feelings. Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can create a plan to resolve the problems and reduce your stress levels.
It’s important to remember that journaling is just one part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle better to manage stress, anxiety, and mental health conditions. To reap the most benefits, it’s recommended also to make sure you:
1. Take time to relax and meditate each day.
2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
3. Exercise regularly by doing some physical activity each day.
4. Ensure that you get plenty of sleep each night.
5. Stay away from alcohol and drugs.
Use your journal to make sure you follow these guidelines daily.
How to journal
Try these tips to help you get started with journaling:
- Write on paper first. Writing with pen and paper helps you process your feelings better. It’s also easier to add drawings to paper.
- Make journaling a daily habit. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. It will help you to write in your journal regularly.
- Could you keep it simple? Keep a pen and paper handy to write down your thoughts whenever necessary. You can make notes on a smartphone as well.
- Write or draw whatever feels right. A journal doesn’t need to follow any particular structure. It’s your personal space to pen down and express your feelings. You are, therefore, free to write anything, allowing ideas to flow.
- Use your journal as you see fit. You don’t have to share your journal with anyone. You could show parts of your journal if you want to share your thoughts with trusted friends and loved ones.
Journalling is your relaxing time to create order when your world has turned upside down. Sit down in a quiet place with a cup of tea, de-stress, wind down and write what you feel and think.
- Benefits of a Bullet Journal and How To Begin » LLIF.org. https://llif.org/2022/09/15/benefits-of-a-bullet-journal-how-to-begin/
- Why Should I Journal? – Relationships Strategies. https://relationshipsstrategies.com/why-should-i-journal/
- Richman, Erick. “Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Lifetime Wellness.” 2022, https://core.ac.uk/download/519914321.pdf.