The Benefits of Journaling

journaling

Journaling has carried me through some rough times in my life. It was a sacred place I could talk about my day, my depression, my feelings, struggles, write letters to people (but not send them out), list my hopes and dreams; be creative, draw and write poems. It was a safe, cathartic place to privately express myself without judgment.

Journaling has many benefits. According to Alan Henry, in his article for Lifehacker, journaling has huge mental health benefits (Henry, http://lifehacker.com/why-you-should-keep-a-journal-and-how-to-start-yours-1547057185). In fact, the benefits are so huge that many mental health professionals recommend it to their clients.  Keeping a journal provides you with a safe, private, and cathartic way to release the stresses of your daily life.  It provides you with a safe place to relive the events of your life in a safe place, “where you can process them without fear or stress” (Henry).

The act of journaling is a research proven effective way toward healing. A study from the peer-reviewed journal, “Advances in Psychiatric Treatments, found that journaling “15-20 minutes on 3-5 occasions,” enabled study participants to deal with “traumatic, stressful, or otherwise emotional events,” more effectively than if they hadn’t journaled. When writing about an emotional event, according to Henry, it is important to focus on how you were thinking and feeling, in addition to your emotions at the time.

Journaling on a regular basis helps us to “process and communicate complex ideas” more effectively (Henry). It also enables us to brainstorm ideas and memorize new information. For me, I was able to notice things (about a problem, situation, or idea) I hadn’t noticed prior to writing it down. I was able to process things better.

I have noticed that writing down my goals and dreams have enabled me better express my needs and desires. I recently bought a calendar that asks what my goals are for each month, how I want to go about meeting them and how important they are. In the two months that I have been doing this I have been able to meet those goals, whereas before these goals would have remained as just thoughts inside my head. This realization amazed me!

There can be many ways to journal. If you are hard on time or feel overwhelmed about keeping a journal, there are various ways to still journal. For example, I used to just keep a gratitude journal. Each day, I would write down, at least three things I was grateful for. I could choose to just list the three things or elaborate on them. Also, there is the bulleted journal, you just write down a statement or two about your day or whatever you wish to write about. Some individuals just keep creative journals, where they draw, write, or make collages. Most of my journals marry the two mediums together…I have written in them daily but they also have drawings, poems, quotes, and mementos in them.

I enjoy going back through my old journals. They are souvenirs of me, and who I was at that time in my life. They show me how far I have come. I also look back and remember the people, who are now gone from my life, and remember them and the impact they had upon my life. It’s a great way to look back over our lives and reminisce. It is also a way to look back and see how we survived something we never thought we would.

Please share your journaling experiences. Ask questions.

Don’t forget that our first giveaway is a journal and pen case. The drawing is March 15th. All you have to do to enter is to be a follower of this blog and email your entry to mendingandthriving@gmail.com. One entry per follower. Winner will be announced on March 15th. Best wishes to everyone!!

Susan

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One thought on “The Benefits of Journaling

  1. The main reason I started blogging on wordpress, anonymously, was specifically because I process as I write. I always have, whether through the characters in the fiction I write, or through the consideration of my daily events, or history, or figuring out why something stirred up certain emotions. Whether it is something to be read by others, or something only for myself, it helps. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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