4 Ways Journaling Improves Your Mental Health
Writing is a cost-effective therapeutic exercise that heals your mind, body, and soul.
If you’re dealing with a mental health condition, wrestling with a string of bad luck, or juggling inane levels of stress in your daily life, journaling is a self-aid tool that can help. It may be hard to believe, but expressive writing is scientifically proven to strengthen your mind.
If you’ve ever lugged around a bedazzled notebook in your younger years — a secret friend with whom you entrusted the details of the day — you may remember how liberating it felt to pen down your thoughts and feelings. Journaling as an adult is no less rewarding. Moreover, the hustle of the modern world demands that we take time out each day to pause and reflect.
Journaling Reduces Anxiety
A plethora of psychological research has verified the significance of expressive writing in managing stress and worry. A 2006 study discovered that journal writing was just as beneficial as therapy in minimizing anxiety and treating mental health disorders.
Journaling allows you to distance yourself from your negative thoughts by writing them down and putting them away. On paper, your troubles appear more manageable and have less of a hold over your emotions. Writing about the things that worry you also facilitate a solution-oriented way of thinking — you start looking at the world realistically. Nothing is as scary as your mind makes it out to be.
Journaling Purges Your Emotions
Journaling is a form of emotional release. It gives you an outlet to express your unfiltered emotions in a safe space. What you can’t reveal to other people, you can express unfiltered in your journal. This is a healthy exercise that helps you regulate your emotions and adopt a growth-oriented mindset.
Confronting yourself through writing is a spartan act that reaps plenty of rewards; you can identify problematic behavioral patterns and negative emotional responses. You can seed out the things that hold you back and cut out distractions. You can purge yourself of negativity and become a healthier, happier person.
Journaling Organizes Your Life
Journaling helps you prepare for the future. If you start your day feeling lost, confused, or overwhelmed, journaling is an efficient way to get back on track. Writing to-do lists or mapping out your short-term goals gives you perspective on where you stand and where you need to be — it gives you direction and purpose.
Sometimes, all we need is a little push, and something as simple as a journal can motivate you to get things done. Strategizing and categorizing your goals in your journal can also help simplify your professional life.
Journaling Improves Your Memory
Expressive writing significantly improves your brain functioning and expands your memory bank. As you write, you actively recall and review the day’s events, allowing you to hold onto those memories for a longer time. Writing energizes the brain’s neurons and improves its processes — it boosts, develops, and stimulates cognition. Moreover, these improvements add to your stress-coping abilities. Think of journaling as a self-cleaning aid that clears away all the junk in your mind and makes room for things that matter.
There is no right way to journal — just pick up a pen and write. Experiment with different tools and techniques. Find a style and set-up that works for you. You don’t need a store of supplies — only a handy notebook and your favorite pen. If writing is too difficult, start small — a few lines every day are enough to make a difference. You can even make lists and drawings. Keep in mind that there are no rules; you succeed as long as you put that pen to paper! It might not solve all of your problems, but it will be worth all the effort you put in.