People have kept journals for centuries. Some journals, such as those of Samuel Pepys and Oscar Wilde, have achieved fame and notoriety. But for every published journal which gains public interest, thousands of private journals are written solely for the writer’s benefit. One of the key benefits of journaling is the positive effect it can have on health.
What Are the Health Benefits of Journaling?
It may surprise you that the health benefits of journaling are physical and psychological. A research program conducted at the University of Texas showed that writing a journal reduces stress, boosts the immune system, and can also ease pain associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Psychological studies show journaling to be an effective form of therapy. People who keep a journal are more relaxed, develop more effective problem-solving skills, and make better decisions. There is also a link between journaling and creativity.
The 5 Ways Journaling Boosts Health and Well-Being
- Reasoning and Perspective: Keeping a journal is a great way to slow the rush of anxious thoughts and feelings and allow you space and time to take a step back from the onward rush of the day’s stresses. Writing your thoughts and feelings and the situations that caused them helps you rationalize your responses and make calm decisions. Whether you’re writing about work, relationships, or the kids, a journal helps you keep perspective on things.
- Self-Knowledge and Awareness: Carved above the entrance to the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece were the words, “Know Thyself”. The ancients considered this advice the distillation of all wisdom into a single formula. Keeping a journal encourages self-knowledge. Your journal will show you reflections of the person you are, how you think and feel, and how you change with time. People with greater self-awareness are happier and form better relationships with others.
- Stress Reduction: Everyone experiences stress and negative feelings. Psychologists have shown expressing such feelings helps you deal with them and regain emotional balance and mental tranquillity. Keeping a journal in which you write how you feel gives an opportunity to release the pressure of daily stress, anger, and frustration. Often, just acknowledging such things is enough to banish them.
- Problem-Solving: Journaling gives you the chance to analyze your problems and explore a range of solutions. People approach problem-solving in different ways. Whether you write a journalistic account or use drawings, flow diagrams, and “mind maps” to work through your problems, a journal is a great place to find the most effective solutions and figure out ways of implementing them.
- Reconnecting Creativity and Action: In today’s world of instant, passive entertainment delivered through TV and the internet, many people have lost touch with their own creative abilities. Journaling is an active endeavor and a creative one. Keeping a journal is a powerful way to unlock your talents and rediscover your creative self. People who engage in positive, creative activities experience better physical and mental health.
Many studies prove the health benefits of journaling. You can journal digitally with journaling software or with a notebook and a pen. Remember your journal is a private space. Relax and enjoy your writing. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Your journal isn’t a graded paper. There are no rules except those you choose. Get started journaling today to enjoy the many benefits to your mental and physical health.
What are you waiting for? Create your FREE digital journal at JRNL.com.