Journaling is a regular act or practice of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It is also a way of writing down your goals, tracking your progress, and capturing events for which we are grateful. Journaling is therapeutic and helps better our mental health, read along, and let’s explore 6 health benefits of journaling.
- Stress Reduction; journaling is a great way to reduce stress, this is done through expressive writing which helps you release emotional tension, this reduces the production of stress hormones, leading to a calmer state of mind. Also, by writing down your feelings, you can release pent-up stress and tension which can lead to a sense of relaxation. According to research carried out by the National Institute of Health, there was a reported reduction in stress after a Journaling exercise was completed.
- Improved Mental Health; journaling can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies show that it is an essential way of tracking your mood, and triggers for negative emotions, documenting your negative mood triggers can help you take proactive steps to avoid these triggers and regulate your mood. It is an effective therapeutic tool that complements other forms of mental health treatment.
- Coping with Trauma; Writing about traumatic experiences can be traumatic, it allows you to process and make sense of what happened, reducing the emotional burden associated with trauma.it is a way of processing emotions that pop up once in a while, making these emotions less overwhelming and easier to manage, it is a healthy coping mechanism.
- Better Sleep; writing down your thoughts, and goals before bedtime can clear your mind, making you feel relaxed and easy to sleep thereby leading to improved sleep quality. Also, if you have trouble sleeping, having a sleep diary that tracks your sleep patterns, records the time you go to bed, and when you wake, can help you identify patterns and issues, thereby leading to a solution.
- Boost Physical Health; studies suggest that journaling may boost the immune system, by reducing stress and its associated inflammation. Also, writing your thoughts and feelings can lead to lowered blood pressure and improved mood which is essential for general body wellbeing.
- Self-Awareness; journaling helps you get to know yourself better, through constant writing of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, it lets you know areas for improvement and gives room for personal growth. It helps us reconnect to ourselves and rediscover who we are, this helps us get to know ourselves a whole lot better.
Journaling starts with small steps, by writing down how you feel, no matter how unstructured it would sound, creating a routine of when to write, either before going to bed or when you wake up in the morning. Take time to reread your entries, especially the good memories, it helps you have a sense of gratitude and serves as encouragement when down. Journaling has a lot of benefits, it helps you reduce stress and improves your overall being. Take out a few minutes a day to journal.