I’m an avid writer and love to spend time with my journal. But, I’ve never actually talked in depth about the benefits of journaling as a whole. I, personally, began journalling shortly after beginning treatment for anorexia nervosa in twenty nineteen. It wasn’t only a great way to express my emotions, but it helped me to untangle my thoughts and put things into perspective.
However, when it comes to journaling I can think of no better person to spill the details than Lauren from Bournemouth Girl!
The Power of Putting Pen to Paper: The Benefits of Journaling.
Journaling is a powerful tool that is usually associated with mental health and mindfulness. Yes, journaling as part of your daily routine has many positive mental well-being benefits, but what the other benefits are, you may not even realise. There are so many styles and forms of journaling and the beautiful thing about them is that there is no wrong way of doing it. It is an individual journey that can look different for everyone. You have to find the one(s) that work for you.
Here are just some examples of journals for you to try.
- Gratitude journal
- Bullet journal
- Stress journal
- Dream journal
- Daily journal
- Morning pages
- Scrapbook journal
Eleven Amazing Benefits of Journaling.
Aids in stress reduction.
Stress can come to us all for a variety of reasons, but they can cause both physical and mental health problems if they are not dealt with. Journaling is a powerful technique to combat feelings of stress as you are able to out pen to paper, getting out all your concerns to come back around to them with a clear head. When you write down your thoughts, it can help you to identify stress-inducing thoughts. When you have had a bad day, writing down what has caused you stress can stop the thoughts escalating and causing you further stress or anxiety.
It helps us heal.
After a traumatic event, journaling can help you to make sense of the trauma you have experienced. Writing down about your experience, your feelings and thoughts about that event will enable you to have perspective and work through any negativity. Expressive writing helps people better handle symptoms of PTSD, lowers your body tension and reduces feelings of anxiety and stress. There have been studies that have proven that journaling has helped young refugees and people who have experienced war to make sense of the trauma that they have experienced.
Journaling helps us sleep.
Have you ever had a bad night’s sleep because you were constantly concerned about certain things or life’s stresses? I have and it is not fun! Journaling is a way to write down your concerns, worries and clear your mind, which will be beneficial when it comes to relaxing at bed time.
Helps boost our creativity.
When you journal, you can tap into unchartered emotions and thoughts. When you write about your recurring thoughts, they are dealt with and your mind is clear, so that you can have a space for other ideas. When you see the ideas on paper, you can see them from a different perspective. Your journal is for your eyes only, so it is a space free from judgement and you can write about what you want and not what you think you should be writing. You can use your journal to brain dump, mind map or brainstorm, dreaming and allowing your mind to wander will increase your creativity and give you inspiration.
When you keep a journal, it encourages your mind to consolidate and stabilise those thoughts and memories during your sleep. It enables you to boost your ability to recall this information at a later date. It is suggested that writing about the previous day’s memories in the evening is better than doing it the following morning. Not only does it boost memory and comprehension, it also increases working memory capacity that will improve your cognitive processing.
Helps to boost your mood.
Journaling regularly helps you to keep all your daily emotions in check; you can work through any negative emotions and it is a relief. You can then work on your positive emotions and enjoy those feelings. Whether you have had a bad or stressful day, the journaling technique will enable you to out the day into perspective and allow you to move forward.
Strengthens your immune system.
Emotional stress can restrict the effectiveness of your immune system due to the secretion of the ‘stress hormone’ known as cortisol. Journaling with its stress relieving qualities limits the secretion of this hormone and allows the immune system to do its role properly. Journaling is a good way to process challenges, reduce stress and find solutions which helps your body relax and restore. Those who journal can boast that they have an improved immune system and stronger immune cells.
It helps us to achieve our goals.
A journal enables you to commit to your goals into writing and then you are far more likely to achieve them. When you participate in expressive writing, it enables you to better identify what you want. You can identify blocks that are stopping you from achieving your goals – it could be self-limiting beliefs. Journaling about a wasted say could motivate you to spend your day more productively.
You can use it to keep track of progress.
Writing in your journal allows you to track your progress and see what is working and what isn’t. You can have a record of all your past achievements, which can encourage you on your down days.
Journaling can help you develop your writing skills.
Journaling regularly enables you to develop your writing skills. When you write continuously, for a set period every day, it is like having an exercise routine. It hones your skills and creates the discipline necessary to become a writer.
Finally, journaling can help builds your self-esteem.
If you use journaling prompts that are specific, they can help you to build your self-esteem. You could be writing things from today’s highlights to your biggest achievements and can therefore create and develop a positive mindset. If you struggle with your self-confidence, it could be due to that inner critic. Although writing in a journal doesn’t eliminate the voice straight away, it does enable you to put it in perspective.
Have we missed anything? Are there any other benefits of journaling that you’ve discovered?
These are some surprising benefits of using a journal on a daily basis. It’s not just about writing about your day and how you felt. These are only a handful of the health and emotional benefits which you will encounter. Other benefits include: calming anxiety, reliving symptoms of depressions, creates a positive mindset and helps you to practise gratitude, helps you to heal from trauma and much more besides!
Do you journal? What benefits do you feel when you journal? I’d love to hear in the comments.