Dear Diary… just writing that makes me want to cringe!
Many of us had a journal or diary as a kid and would pour our little hearts onto the pages of our “keep secret” notebook. But, we get older and grow out of that “childish” activity, right? Well the real question is why did we stop?
From the basics of getting your thoughts out of your head to improving your physical health there are so many benefits to journaling. If you haven’t tried it or have stopped a long time ago, it may be time to rethink starting this habit.
- Journaling helps organize your thoughts and clear your “mental chatter”.
On average, a human has over 6,000 thoughts per day! That’s A LOT to keep all of that in your brain. Now, of course it is impossible to write down every single thought we have. Plus, we are not even consciously aware every thought our brain has. However, it certainly helps “clean up” some of that clutter in our mind.
2. Journaling helps to relieve stress.
Although we don’t realize every single thought we have, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the thoughts and emotions we are aware of and deal with during the day. Journaling can be a source of emotional release and help understand your feelings better.
3. Journaling helps you have clarity of your problems, values, and goals.
By the action of physically writing down your goals, plans, problems, etc. you can clearly see where you’re at mentally or where you’re at in your overall life. From there, it is easier to see where you want to change, what actions you need to take, or where you want to make improvements on.
4. Journaling contributes to the healing of your trauma.
It may be scary to relive your trauma. Digging up the past and sitting with that pain. But, research proves that writing about your trauma helps people to reevaluate their experience and pain from a different perspective and can actually ease that emotional burden.
5. Journaling can be a space for self-reflection.
Similarly to gaining clarity through journaling, when you are able to see where you are in your life, it can help you to determine the direction in which you want to keep going. Along with giving you the feeling of gratefulness for all the accomplishments you have achieved thus far.
6. Journaling improves your immune system.
According to fitandwell.com, Matt Evans states, “Emotional stress can limit the effectiveness of our immune system due to the secretion of the “stress hormone” known as cortisol. It’s thought journaling, with its stress-busting qualities, limits the secretion of this hormone and allows immune system to do its job effectively.”
Writing is a form of expressive therapy. It gives you a judgement-free space to express your inner thoughts while helping you to understand them and become aware of your traumas, emotions, goals, etc.
And best of yet, all you need is a pen and some paper to get started! Give it a try and see the improvements it can make on your life!