Crazy Therapeutic Health Benefits of Journaling. We NEED it after 2020.
If you don’t write your thoughts down in a journal or “diary”, you should start today. Here’s why, the number of benefits that come with it is incredible. It reduces stress, improves immune function, keeps your memory sharp, boosts your mood, strengthens emotional functions. Writing can also be therapeutic when you’re suffering from PTSD, abuse, or traumatic childhood events.
What I am talking about is writing in a physical journal by hand. Many studies have concluded these benefits. Take for instance James W. Pennebaker one of the lead researchers on expressive writing. He found that when you put pen to paper about a traumatic experience for 15–20 minutes, 3–5 times a day for several days, you would get a much better grasp of that traumatic experience. Which in turn led to a lot of long-term health benefits. (If you continue to write in your lifetime)
Some of the long-term health benefits in their findings included:
- Fewer stress-related visits to the doctor
- Improved immune system function
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved lung function
- Improved liver function
- Fewer days in the hospital
- Reduced depressive symptoms before examinations
- Improved working memory
- Higher students’ grade point average
And the list goes on…
What are the Initial Benefits?
Writing in a journal and taking the thoughts out of your head can feel like a weight gets lifted off your shoulders. Sometimes things make sense when you’re going over them in your head but in reality, you could be so wrong. The more you think about something, the more you start to believe it as your truth.
When you are stressed out about something important such as a meeting or a tough discussion you may need to have with someone, writing down your thoughts can give you clarity. Which in turn reduces your stress levels.
How to Start Journaling?
We all have busy lives and adding a new task into the routine can seem very daunting. But, if you are suffering internally, all the things you do daily can suffer along with it. Starting today there are a few steps to can take to get you to start your expressive writing routine.
1: Choose when is the best time to schedule in 15–20 minutes of writing. This can be at the beginning of your day over a cup of coffee freshly brewed. Or you can write at the end of your day before you lay your head down to sleep.
2: Expressing yourself right off the bat might be tough, so just start with writing whatever comes to mind at first. Doesn’t matter what it is. You can even say “I don’t know what to write” and then build off of that. Take the full timeslot you’ve allowed for yourself.
3: Take a deep breath with your eyes closed and start a sentence in your mind such as “I feel…”.
Journaling is the right move whether you’re suffering or not. The long-term health benefits are too great to pass up. I used to have a lot of brain fog, but since I started writing, things have become more clear. With clarity comes calm, and with calm comes patience.