Journaling is a powerful yet simple act that can improve your health and well-being. Some people may see journaling as old-fashioned or tedious, when you put pen to paper or your fingers to computer keys, you can significantly change your life!
Did you ever keep a diary when you were younger? If so then you will remember it was your place to confess your inner most struggles as well as victories. Writing about our feelings and thoughts can help us understand them more clearly.
Journaling Benefits and Studies
Documenting your thoughts and feelings in a journal can improve your wellbeing.
Countless scientists have studied the effects of journaling and have found evidence to support various health claims. In particular, people who are vulnerable to mental health issues and stress can benefit the most from daily journaling.
This study found that 76% of adults who spent 20 minutes writing about their thoughts and feelings for three consecutive days two weeks before a medically necessary biopsy were fully healed 11 days later, as compared with 42 percent of the control group.
Another study from that "expressive writing" is especially beneficial. Journaling seems to be the best form of writing to offer therapeutic benefits.
James Pennebaker, a researcher at the University of Texas, Austin and author of Writing to Heal, says that writing helps us translate difficult and messy experiences into language that is “graspable”.
Pennebaker says, “Emotional upheavals touch every part of our lives. You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are - our financial situation, our relationships with others, our view of ourselves, our issues of life and death. Writing helps us focus and organize our experience.”
Regular journal writing helps you:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Create order when feeling chaos
- Get to know yourself better
- Spend time reducing stress and winding down
- Prioritize problems and concerns
- Recognize triggers and learn better ways to react
- Identify negative thoughts and behaviors so you can modify them
- Express yourself in a healthy way
I hope you can see how journaling can be a helpful tool to manage your mental health!
Visit our Journaling Resources Page for free journaling printables!
How to Start Journaling
Journaling doesn't have to be a long process, you can take just 15-20 minutes per day to jot down your thoughts and feelings. Self-reflect on the day and emotions felt.
Find a calm environment, get a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy your writing time as a time for relaxation and self-reflection. Add in some aromatherapy for journaling as well. Look forward to this time and know it will benefit your mind and body.
To get started you may prefer to have ready to go journal pages to write in. We offer several journals for download that you can use print for your writing.