5 Key Benefits of Journaling for Personal Wellness
Writing down your personal thoughts and emotions is something that people have been doing for as long as history can remember - dating all the way back to 10th century Japan, in fact. It’s a way to share a little bit of yourself with history, a way to document your emotions and most importantly, a great way to benefit yourself on a personal level, both physically and emotionally.
So much research has been carried out on how our thoughts affect our well-being. We can trick our brain into thinking happy thoughts and the tension headache you’ve been suffering from slowly dissipates, and it’s very similar with other physical ailments.
Add to that the fact that scientific studies have proven that writing about stressful situations, or illnesses, helps rid the body of the negative impact these thoughts have on your body. Consequently, you reduce the power they have over your physical health.
However, to be honest, journaling takes commitment and a sense of responsibility to yourself. However, once you break through that barrier, that’s holding you back; you won’t be able to stop. To begin, sit somewhere quiet where you’ll be uninterrupted, and start jotting down all and any thoughts that pop up in your mind, without taking things like punctuation or spelling into consideration.
Starting with just 5 minutes each day, you’ll quickly forget all about censorship, and even time.
Be free, unlimited, and totally uninhibited. That’s the whole point of journaling; to be true to who you are. There are no rules - that’s the one and only rule!
Here are 5 reasons why you should keep a journal:
1. Evoke mindfulness. Writing helps boost emotional intelligence and increases your mental clarity when it comes to making decisions and dealing with difficult situations. It also reduces stress by releasing pent-up, negative emotions, and helps better sleep quality.
Writing down your jumbled thoughts and feelings will help you get in touch with your inner self, your weaknesses - which we all have them, and your strengths - which should always be worked on to keep building on and maintaining. You become more aware of situations and people around you and you start to see a pattern of what to avoid and what to repeat.
2. Develop communication skills. Writing down situations where you feel you were treated unjustly or writing about an argument you had with someone will give you the chance to see the whole picture, or at least allow you to view the situation from an outsider’s perspective. This way, you can help you understand the other side’s point of view, and even better, reach a point of understanding and reconciliation, and resolve the issue. A helping factor is that writing uses the left side of the brain, which is the rational and analytical side so you can logically look at the world around you with fresh eyes, rather than be judgmental or keep negative emotions bottled up.
3. Boost creativity. Since writing uses the left side of the brain, where rational thought arises, this allows the creative, right side of the brain to work freely and without reservations.
4. Improve self-confidence. Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal is like talking to a therapist who doesn’t interrupt, or a friend who never judges. It purges you of all the burdens of the day’s hardships. Writing is a way to help you get rid of the toxic edge these negative emotions and thoughts have on you without fear of being judged or shamed in any way.
5. Motivate a stronger sense of self. Achieve goals and keep track of the little accomplishments. Each time you face a difficult time in your life, you can look at past situations where you overcame the hardship. You can learn from your own experiences. It’ll serve as a reminder of how determined you are and how much strength you have in the face of adversity.