You may remember writing in a diary under your bed when you were a youngster. It was a haven where you could open up about your problems and anxieties without fear of ridicule or retribution.
You may have found it therapeutic to write down all of your thoughts and feelings. Clearer views of the world emerged.
After reaching adulthood, you may have stopped keeping a diary. It’s still a good idea, and it still has advantages. Journaling is the new term for this practice.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a simple way to gain a better understanding of them.
Journaling can help you reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Among the other facts about journaling, it can help strengthen your emotional function, cultivate gratitude, and sharpen your memory.
The analytical and rational side of your brain is activated when you write. Creative juices flow freely in the right brain while the left is busy.
When you can use your whole brain to better understand yourself, others, and the world, you’ve broken down mental barriers and opened yourself up to new possibilities.
In this post, we’ll look at ten facts about journaling that have been scientifically proven.
7 Facts About Journaling
Journals have the advantage of being completely unrestricted in terms of content and level of intimacy.
This means that the journalist may choose to keep theirs private, but they may also be open and willing to share certain entries from time to time, depending on their comfort level.
There is increasing evidence that journaling can have a positive impact on our mental health, social and psychological well-being, as well as our physical health.
Leading psychologists and researchers believe that journaling helps strengthen the immune system by reducing anxiety and stress levels, thus acting as a management tool to lessen the physical effects of stress.
1. Journaling can help reduce anxiety and depression.
Journaling has been shown to reduce depression, according to several studies. Stice, Burton, Bearman, and Rohde found in 2006 that writing in a journal can reduce the risk of depression in young adults just as effectively as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal may help lessen the symptoms of depression, as well as help college students at risk for depression.
Researchers found that journaling could help students better manage their stress and anxiety, as well as improve overall classroom engagement.
Negative thoughts are common in both depression and anxiety. These thoughts can be written down and processed in a more analytical and non-emotional manner by journaling.
Journaling allows you to examine your thoughts and determine whether they are true or false, rather than simply allowing them to fester in your mind.
Mood swings affect all aspects of our lives, from work to family life. Losing your job or getting divorced aren’t simple events.
Your financial situation, relationships with others, and self-perceptions are all affected by these things. By putting your thoughts on paper, you can better focus and organize your experiences.
2. Journaling can help reduce stress
Stress can harm your physical, mental, and emotional well-being if you have too much of it. It has been demonstrated. Journaling is a powerful tool for managing stress and a healthy habit that can help you cope with the negative effects of physical stress.
As it turns out, just 15 to 20 minutes of expressive writing three to five times a week for four months was enough to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and to improve liver function.
Additionally, journaling about difficult times can assist you in developing healthy coping mechanisms. Journaling can help you relax and de-stress before going to sleep, so give it a try.
3. Journaling strengthens the emotional function
Problem-solving tends to be left-brained and analytical. The right-brained creativity and intuition, on the other hand, can sometimes provide the only solution.
Unlocking new abilities through writing is a great way to find solutions to problems you thought were insurmountable.
How journaling affects one’s emotional well-being is closely linked to one’s mood. Diarists become more in tune with their health by connecting with their inner needs and desires as journaling habits are developed.
Mindfulness and perspective-keeping are both enhanced when writing in a journal. Experiencing emotional catharsis can help the brain better regulate its feelings. It boosts one’s self-esteem and self-worth.
It is possible to use journaling to help deal with personal adversity, and to recognize patterns and growth in one’s life.
It has even been shown by research that expressive writing can help people develop more structured schemes of themselves as well as those around them.
Writing in a journal also helps to activate and engage your right brain’s creative side, allowing you to use all of your mental resources. Journaling helps you grow.
4. Journaling can improve your immune system
Journaling has also been shown to improve your overall immune function and reduce your risk of illness. This may come as a surprise. People who journaled for 20 minutes a day 3-5 times a week saw the following benefits:
- Less time spent in the doctor’s office as a result of stress
- Blood pressure is lower
- Better for your lungs
- Liver function has been boosted
It is possible to create a “coherent narrative” of a person’s life through journaling. Allow a person to integrate their experiences into their overall view of life.
When this happens, a person’s outlook on life improves and they develop a more holistic view of their place in the world. It follows that people who have a positive, holistic view of themselves are less likely to suffer from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
5. Journaling helps cultivate gratitude
Journaling has also been shown to help alleviate depression and anxiety, as well as improve overall physical health. You may be wondering, “Why is it so important to be grateful?”
Gratitude has been shown to have several health benefits in numerous studies. Increased physical activity and better sleep are both associated with greater levels of gratitude. Studies show that it boosts optimism, which in turn improves your well-being and your happiness.
Decreased levels of depression, progress toward goals, and an increase in sociability are all associated with gratitude.
6. Journaling can assist in trauma recovery
Journaling has also been shown to aid in the healing process following traumatic events. Even in the face of adversity, the act of recording your thoughts and feelings helps you to better understand what has happened and appreciate the good things in life.
It’s also a good idea to journal because it forces you to face the things you’ve experienced head-on rather than avoiding them and ignoring them.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one, keeping a journal can help you grieve in a healthy and healing way. When you write in a journal, you allow yourself to reflect on and process the death of a loved one.
Additionally, researchers Gregg, Mead, and Mueser in 2002 found that journaling can aid in the recovery of those who are afflicted with psychiatric conditions.
Repetitive, intrusive thoughts are common in many mental health conditions, and they can be difficult to sort through. Writing down your thoughts in a journal is a great way to organize and process them before discarding them.
7. Journaling can help with memory recall
When it comes to improving your memory, journaling should not come as a surprise.
Writing can improve the brain’s ability to absorb, process, store, and retrieve information. It enhances the ability of the brain to pay attention and concentrate.
Memory is boosted and patterns are revealed; the brain is given time for contemplation, and when well-guided it can stimulate the brain’s highest cognition.
In the process of writing a journal, you are simultaneously documenting and analyzing the events of a given period. The more time you spend doing this, the more likely you are to remember and reflect on the specifics of the events that occurred.
Keeping a journal also allows you to look back on your life and see if there are any patterns. If you keep a journal, you may begin to notice patterns in your own or other people’s behavior over time. You’ll be able to respond appropriately once you’ve identified these patterns.
During the process of writing in your journal, you’ll come to realize that your journal is a kind and accepting companion.
This could be the most affordable therapy you’ll ever receive. Your takeaway from this piece should be that journaling is a useful tool for stress management, dealing with the symptoms of mental illness, and healing from trauma and that anyone can do it!
You don’t need to be an incredible writer or a literary genius to reap the benefits of writing down your feelings and thoughts.