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The Benefits of Journaling

The Benefits of Journaling

Most of us have kept a journal going in our younger years - cue childhood memories of that beloved diary you hid at the back of your drawer - but many adults cease to upkeep this pastime. A lack of time may be to blame, but journaling is not simply a fun hobby, it’s also a great way to keep your mental health in check and express your feelings on paper. In fact, it is a particularly healthy practice to take on in times like these, when our stress levels are heightened.

Plenty of researchers and health experts have recommended journaling. University of Texas psychologist James W. Pennebaker explains that people express their emotions freely when writing, which helps them “simplify and organize fragmented memories”. The American Psychological Association also said that “for years, practitioners have used logs, questionnaires, journals and other writing forms to help people heal from stresses and traumas.”

In some ways, journaling can be seen as a way to maintain a relationship with your mind - and a great form of self-care.

 

Here are 5 ways in which journaling can benefit your health:

1. Clears your mind and tackles anxious thoughts

You might think that writing out your thoughts cannot be too effective, but in reality, having this medium to explore what is on your mind can feel very freeing. If you struggle to communicate your worries with others, a journal can feel like a great listener. Seeing your concerns written clearly in front of you will also help you process them realistically and not get too caught up in your own thoughts.

2. Tracks your progress

A journal can serve as a great way to keep track of your achievements and see how far you have come - perhaps in relation to specific career or health goals you may have, or simply in terms of your emotional growth. It is easy to forget that your personal efforts do pay off, and this could be the motivation you need to keep pushing.

3. Helps you learn about yourself

Journaling is a great form of self-discovery. Writing about the things you love and the things that upset you will, overtime, allow you to understand yourself better and therefore only make room for things that bring light into your life.

4. Enhances your physical health

Working on your mental health and tracking your progress, will overtime impact your physical health positively too. Journaling, which drives you to work on yourself, encourages exercise and impacts your quality of sleep. Aside from this, journaling will help you identify medical triggers. Therefore, by keeping track of the food you consume and the activities you partake in, you will obtain a better understanding of what you should avoid or use more of for good health.

5. Boosts your creativity

The written word is a creative medium that allows you to learn a lot about being expressive through art. If you push yourself to write frequently and let your imagination run, you will find that this newfound ability to create even when you do not feel inspired, will boost your creativity across other mediums. In fact, there are plenty of creative pastimes that can help express your feelings - such as music, photography or pottery, to name a few.

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