What comes to mind when you think about journaling and your health? Your pen, a diary, all under your pillows – your secret getaway as a teenager. Relax! Your secret isn’t out; we all kept a journal. In this blog, we will be discussing the health benefits of journaling that you know and the ones you don’t.
You might have written about a love interest or how mad you were at your parents – imagine the horror if that book got leaked. In any case, journaling has always been a form of self-care – now, you can say you’ve had therapy sessions!
A book as therapy
A journal has always been a safe space for all of us, free of judgment and scrutiny. An escape into a world of our own, and it has an added perk of improving your writing – you might want to pick up your pen at this point, or you would instead prefer to use a journaling app.
Journaling can be the friend you never had or the listening ear you needed. Either way, journaling as an art, has been around a while as a therapeutic means and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In today’s article, we will be discussing the health benefits of journaling that you know and the ones you don’t.
Your mental health has a direct effect on your body. Having a sharp mind is directly linked to having an organized train of thoughts, optimizing creativity, and producing at the highest level of mental capacity. The best place to unleash your creativity is through journaling – now, you can start producing the best results of your life.
You will discover the benefits of journaling when you start keeping one. Let’s dive right in!
Mental health experts have advised and recommended journaling as a means of fixing depression. It is a proven fact that journaling improves your mood and manages the symptoms of depression.
Journaling is a means of gaining control over your emotions and to improve the orderliness of your thought patterns. It is simply writing down your thoughts and processing them.
Journaling, when done together with therapy, has shown amazing results in emotional coordination and balance.
Expressive writing, which is a form of journaling, advises participants to write continuously at a stretch about their deepest emotions. Bringing these emotions to the surface helps sort them into positive and negative groups, and therefore dealing with each. Writing out these emotions also has a purging effect on your mind; thus, easing you of the load.
Also, expressive writing helps to put depressive thoughts in perspective in an objective manner.
Anxiety and Stress
Journaling is a useful hack for managing anxiety and stress levels. Stress and anxiety have a direct impact on your heart – so perhaps instead of worrying about in your heart, you should rather decide to write it out.
The American Heart Association, in 2019, updated heart disease and stroke statistics for a whopping 103 million American adults. This alarming number was attributed to the daily hustle and bustle of a typical American adult. Stress is in everything we do – from work to family, friends, and social life, all is coated in stress.
There is such a thing as a healthy amount of pressure that helps you push beyond your natural limits. But even with that, there is still a need to manage your stress and anxiety levels. Being under pressure for an extended period has been linked with higher cortisol levels, weakened arteries, increased cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and increased blood sugar – all because we are now adults!
Cambridge University in 2005 recorded fewer stress-related visits to the doctor in journaling patients who took part in the research. As it is in the effects of depression, journaling helps you process your emotions. It could be a means to relax while also creating clarity and sorting your feelings.
People who have gone through trauma or who are recovering from addictions have benefited from journaling. It has always been used as a therapeutic activity in comprehensive addiction treatment programs.
Addicts, especially, need to sort out their emotions and relearn how to feel without the presence of whatever they were addicted to. This process is usually emotionally and physically tasking. Writing out their emotions helps them sort it out, bringing them closer to recovery. Journaling helps addicts document their struggles and wins, and also hold accountability to themselves in a healthy manner.
The primary goal in journaling as a tool for recovery is not to produce a story – although writing a recovery story doesn’t sound so bad – the goal is to use the process to understand and cope with emotions and thoughts.
Trauma victims and survivors, especially those with PTSD, have also benefited greatly from the therapeutic effects of journaling – when the going gets tough, pick up the pen and pour out the emotions.
Boosting your memory
Journaling keeps the brain in top shape.
If a simple hack such as journaling helps increase memory capacity, I would advise you to jump right on it.
Writing is generally proven to work on memory capacity and easy comprehension. An increased comprehension reflects further on improving cognitive processing.
Journaling works on your brain. It actively involves both the right and left hemispheres, making a big difference in your life – think about your brain lifting weights!
Effective journaling works on your psychology by helping you meet your goals and improving your quality of life.
Journaling helps you keep a grateful heart, and remember, a grateful life is a happy life. It gives room for reflection. Reflecting on how events and happenings turned into a positive perspective will produce a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude keeps you happy.
Self-analysis and positive affirmations are also one of the by-products of journaling.
We promised you would discover the benefits of journaling, and we delivered!
You may not be journaling just yet, or you may be planning to start today. While you are at it, we hope you will begin to see the link between journaling and your health. But, remember, your journal is for you alone. So, be free to write out all those emotions you have layered deep inside. Write and be free!