The Benefits of Journaling
As a child or teen, you may have written all of your thoughts and dreams down in a journal or diary. You may have then hidden that under your mattress or in a drawer and worried that a sibling would find it and use your words against you. When you became an adult, you may have stopped writing things down in a journal, but you should consider going back to this.
When you were younger, you probably weren’t aware of the benefits of journaling. It was just something to do. However, you were doing something incredibly helpful and advantageous for your mental health. It’s something that you should consider doing once again as an adult because journaling psychology shows it has an impact. Below are some of the benefits that come with keeping a journal.
1. Reduces Stress
It’s no secret that life can be tough. Between work, family, and friends, it doesn’t take long for exhaustion and frustration to take hold. Too much stress in your life will eventually take a toll on your mental, physical and emotional health. However, if you keep a journal, you can reduce your stress and improve your overall health.
By writing about your stressful experiences in a journal, this gives you the opportunity to vent your frustrations and waves of anger in a healthy and constructive manner. It also gives you insight into why you may be feeling the way you are and allows you to develop ways to cope. This is a healthy and productive way to deal with your issues rather than bottling them up inside.
2. Allows You to Cope with Anxiety and Depression
In addition to journaling helping with stress, it can also help you deal with anxiety and depression. It allows you to write down your deepest, darkest fears and worries and look at them in a new light. When you put the words on the page, you may realize that your fears weren’t as bad as you thought they were. It may also help you develop coping mechanisms to overcome your worry.
When it comes to depression, it can be hard to let go of negative thoughts. If allowed to grow out of hand, these can become overbearing and cyclical. One technique you might employ is gratitude journaling. One of the benefits of gratitude journaling is that it helps you see the positive aspects of your life. It has been shown that thinking positive thoughts can rewire your brain and create new neural pathways to fight depression.
Spending a few moments right before bed or first thing in the morning to write down at least three things that you are grateful for can have long-term impacts. You might struggle with this exercise at first, but the longer you stick with it, the easier it gets. Having these things in a journal also gives you the ability to go back and look at all of the great things that have happened in your life—some other benefits of gratitude journaling!
3. Journaling Everyday Can Improves Your Mood
Whether you are sad, angry, frustrated or confused, writing in a journal can help you get through these emotions. Putting your thoughts into words makes them feel more real, and it allows you to recognize your emotions and determine their cause. Once you know that, you can develop a plan to improve your situation. Some benefits of journaling are that you also have the ability to write about happy emotions, and this can bring a smile to your face.
4. Allows for Self-Reflection
If you’re like most people, then your life is incredibly busy. You have a lot of obligations you have to take care of, and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for you. When you take a few moments out of every day to write in your journal, this gives you the chance to slow down and take stock of your life. If you are anxious or depressed, you can take a moment to figure out why. If you are happy or satisfied, you can record those moments for future reference.
Journals are a great place to record your hopes and dreams, and then form a plan of how you are going to reach them. This is a great way to understand who you are and what you are capable of. You may not be the person you want to be right at the moment, but with a plan in place, you can create the path to get to where you want to be.
Some other journaling ideas you might consider that will assist in self-reflection is to imagine that you are talking to your childhood self. What are some things you want to tell yourself? This can be a great way to discover topics and issues that may still be bothering you as an adult. Once you become aware of them, you can find ways to overcome them.
5. Boosts Your Memory and Cognitive Function
It has been shown that writing things down improves your memory and cognitive function—more journaling benefits! Thus, if you learn something new and you want to remember it, write it down in your journal.
The act of writing itself also helps with cognitive function, as your body is engaged in several actions at once. You are using your thought process as well as motor skills, so this is a great way to keep your brain healthy and active.
6. Inspires Creativity
Everyone has the capability of being creative, but most people don’t explore this side of themselves. They may fear rejection or believe that they aren’t good enough. When you write in a journal, you have the ability to test out new ideas and see how they go. Should you decide that they are good and you want to share them with others, you have that option. If you find that there are things you need to keep to yourself, you have that option as well.
Journaling is a safe and comfortable place you can use to explore. You have the ability to let your imagination run wild and see where your thoughts take you.
7. Improves Self-Discipline
You have to be willing and able to sit down in the morning or the evening to write in your journal. The discipline you learn from this act can transfer to other aspects of your life. Once you start this healthy act, you may find that others will follow. Soon, you’ll be living the healthiest and most productive life you can create.
8. Helps You Achieve Goals
When you write down your dreams and goals, along with a plan to reach them, you are more likely to see the task through. When you write these things down, it sends a signal to your brain that this is something important. You will then find ways to accomplish your tasks and become successful in your endeavors.
In addition to helping you achieve your goals, journaling can also help you learn from your failures or mistakes. No one is perfect, and you’re bound to stumble in life. When that happens, take the opportunity to learn from the moment. Write down what happened and what you should take away from the experience. If the situation or one like it arises in the future, you’ll be prepared to deal with it.
9. Allows You to Be Mindful
It has been shown that if you want to be happy, you need to be mindful of what is going on around you. When you journal, this gives you the chance to reflect on things that happened during the day and what could possibly happen in the future. When you look at them in the present, they have a tendency to lose their power. This gives you the opportunity to deal with your thoughts and emotions logically and determine what course of action you want to take to get over any issues you might be dealing with.
Starting a journal is the first step to improving your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. However, you may be at a loss at how to start this process. It seems like it should be simple enough, but it will require some time and dedication. Below are the steps to getting the most out of your journaling experience.
Step 1: Get a Journal
There are so many different types of journals to choose from. You can get a spiral-bound notebook, leather-bound book with blank pages or a pre-formatted guided journal prompts to start with. Find one that makes you happy and that you are willing to write in. It’s a good idea to find something that is special and doesn’t look like any other notebook in your home. This will keep it from getting lost and ensure that you treat it with respect and care.
Step 2: Find a Time to Write
Finding a time to write can be challenging, especially when you are busy. Many people find that taking some time right before bed gives them a chance to record their thoughts and relieve stress and worry from earlier in the day. Others find that morning journaling is more beneficial because it puts them in the right mindset to face the day. For others, they find that writing whenever the mood strikes them throughout the day is beneficial.
No matter what time of day you decide to write, make sure to spend the time writing. The goal is to improve your overall health, and that takes time and dedication. Don’t put it off because you are tired or you don’t think you have anything to say. If you need some journaling topics to get you going, there are many things to choose from. These include things such as:
- Write about a favorite childhood memory
- Record three funny things your kids or pets did during the day
- Write about your favorite TV show
- What did you want to be as a kid?
- If you could have any job now, what would it be?
The number of journaling prompts you can explore are practically endless. You should never get stuck with something to write about, and you may find that as you write, other ideas pop into your mind.
Step 3: Maintain Your Journaling Schedule
You may find that after a few days, weeks or months that you are feeling better. If your journaling prompts are focused on gratitude, you may discover that your attitude toward life is so much better. It may be tempting to stop your journaling efforts because you feel like things can’t get better. While this is within your rights, you may want to reconsider.
The more you journal, the happier and more satisfied with the life you can become. Nothing lasts forever, so the bliss you are feeling now could be overshadowed by other emotions in the near future. However, if you have a journaling schedule in place, you’ll have the skills and ability to deal with anything that comes your way.
Other Journaling Ideas and Examples
Journaling is an incredibly personal practice. It’s something you do to better understand your life and improve your health and wellbeing. You may decide to share some of your thoughts and entries from your journal, but if you don’t want to, you certainly don’t have to.
In addition to some of the ideas listed above, there are other ways you can use your journal to your benefit. You can use it to write down business ideas or ways you want to change the world. You can write down issues or anger you feel toward loved ones in a safe environment. It can also be a place where you record your crazy dreams to try to figure out what they mean. Besides, if you have some ideas to put it online and have the intention to monetize it, you can plan your blog ideas and content management by writing a journal. We have a blog planner journal that can help you structure your blogging plan and content.
Your journal is for you, so what you decide to put on the pages is up to you. The goal is to have a place where you can write down thoughts and concerns without restriction or fear. Journaling can be an incredibly freeing experience that helps you get a better grasp on your life and overall health. It’s a simple but effective method to get in touch with yourself.