In my life since 2009, I have been practicing Journaling for my mental health, and after seen immense mental health benefits I started using them as my tool in counselling too. If you were my client in era of the time, you may have already used and seen changes in to you too.
Various studies have shown that journaling can reduce the effect of depression and anxiety. In 2006 Stice, Burton, Bearman & Rohde did a study in which they found that writing journal can be equally effective as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy when it comes to minimizing the risk of depression among youngsters.
And in another study conducted by Hasanzadeh, Khoshknab, & Norozi found that the simple act of journaling reduced anxiety in women who were suffering from multiple sclerosis. Various other studies have proven that journaling can decrease the symptoms of depression and also reduces the frequency of depressive, negative and intrusive thoughts.
Journaling could help people effectively manage stress and anxiety and improve their productivity at work. As you may be aware that mostly depression and anxiety is accompanied by negative thought process and associated overthinking. Where as journaling allows you to decode your thoughts, and let them process in a more analytical and non-emotional way and respond appropriately.
Any kind of emotional trauma impacts every part of our lives. It could be anything like financial issues, relationship issues with other or our perception about ourself… writing can help you to focus, process emotion, organize your experience. Instead of simply letting negative thoughts run rampant in your mind, journaling allows you to engage with your thoughts and determine whether they are true or false.
Journaling not only helps in overcoming depression and anxiety but also improve overall physical health. It has been seen that journaling also inculcate gratitude. Now you may ask why gratitude is important? You can read here why gratitude is important.
Various studies have shown that gratitude has multiple health benefits. Gratitude is directly linked to our healthy lifestyle. That means gratitude most likely increase exercise and quality sleep patterns, and both enhance long term health benefits. It has been shown to significantly increase optimism, which indirectly affects both your happiness and your health.
Gratitude is tied to reduced levels of depression, making progress toward goals, and making a person more sociable and friendly.
When it comes to living a healthy, happy life, gratitude can make all the difference. Journaling allows you to reflect on all the good things in your life, which, in turn, enables you to be grateful. When you don’t journal, it’s easy to forget about all the good things happening in your life and slide into depression or anxiety.
It has also been shown that journaling can help a person recover more quickly from traumatic events. Writing things down allows you to process what has occurred and see the good side of life, even when things are difficult. Journaling also allows you to directly confront the things you’ve experienced instead of avoiding them and not taking the time to process them.
If you’ve experienced the death of a loved one, journaling can enable you to effectively grieve in a manner that’s both healthy and healing. As you journal, you can take the necessary time to remember your loved one, process the loss, and begin to move forward.
A 2002 study by researchers Provencher, Gregg, Mead, & Mueser also found that journaling can speed the recovery of those who are struggling with various psychiatric conditions. Psychiatric conditions are often accompanied by repetitive, intrusive thoughts that can be difficult to process. Journaling allows you to get those thoughts down on paper, process them effectively, and finally dispatch with them.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that journaling can also improve overall memory function. Neurologist Judy Willis says: The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus … boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.
When you journal, you are both recording and processing the events of a particular time period. As you do this, you are remembering and reflecting upon the details of the events, which then helps you retain those memories for a significantly longer amount of time.
You might not believe but journaling has been proved that it can improve overall immune system and decrease the risk of any illness. Karen A. Baikie and Kay Wilhelm found in research that person who 20 minutes of journaling per day and 3 to 5 times a week saw the following benefits:
How can the simple act of
journaling improve your health?
Journaling helps a person to see the life events in a holistic manner, so everything happens seems so clear and integrate them into their overall perspective on life.
This, in turn, enables a person to think more positively about their life and create a holistic picture of themselves in relation to the rest of the world. It follows that a person with a positive, holistic view of themselves is less prone to things like depression and anxiety, both of which can cause a variety of physical health problems.
Additionally, journaling allows you to analyze past events for patterns. As you look at your journal over time, you may begin to see particular patterns emerge, whether in your own behavior or in the behavior of others. Once you spot these patterns, you can respond appropriately.
If you aren’t yet, I hope these five reasons encourage you to start journaling.
Journaling is incredibly beneficial, both mentally and physically. It enables you to process the events you experience, which leads to a healthy and holistic view of yourself. It empowers you to work through trauma, bringing healing to past wounds and insight into the way forward. It improves your memory of events and enhances your ability to see patterns in life.