Do you worry a lot? Are you feeling stuck in life? Your past is still haunting you? Don’t know how to move forward in life? Don’t how to gear up? Then, the secret to getting over this situation is JOURNALING! Read on to know the benefits of journaling and how it will help you live a healthier and happier life.
Now that word “journaling’ must have flashed the picture of one of your family members sitting in an isolated place and scribbling something very intensely on their diary that no one can access. Yes, that’s journaling – an exercise that involves writing about your current life events (happy or distressing), feelings, thoughts, response to a crisis and everything going in your mind.
Journaling is an art where you not only express your emotions but translate an experience or secret into language by penning, which makes the experience more graspable as per James W. Pennebaker, a lead researcher on expressive writing at the University of Texas at Austin.
There is striking research on the benefits of journaling or expressive writing. Read on to know what they are and if that motivates you to start journaling leave a comment below.
Here are 7 Science-Backed Benefits Of Journaling
1. Reduces Stress
Hectic schedules, cut-throat competition, speedy travel, peer pressure to portray a cool life on social media have all eventually pushed us towards an extremely stressful life. Isn’t it? Do you know stress causes myriad physical and mental health problems? It damages emotional health too? Scientists have proven that journaling is an effective stress-buster. So, journal more! 15-20 minutes a day is enough according to a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine.
“We think writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress,” says Elizabeth Broadbent, professor of medicine at the University of Auckland
Do you know writing about your emotions in an abstract sense like poems or songs is more calming than describing them in vivid language? It helps you get over mental distress, improves your mood and makes you happier.
Journalling is my pre-bedtime meditation habit. Would you like to give it a try?
2. Reduce depression and anxiety
Journaling and written emotional expression reduce anxiety symptoms according to a study involving patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Writing helps students in stress management and improves their classroom and sports performance.
You can also find vast literature on journalling and its power to reduce the symptoms of depression. You will be surprised to know that the benefits of journaling are the same as the benefits of cognitive-behavioural therapy in treating depression in young adults. Researchers say journaling also helps college students who are vulnerable to depression and those diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Whether it is the loss of a job or the death of a loved one, writing thoughts helps us focus and organise the experience according to Social psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker.
Journaling when you’re stressed or depressed helps you –
- Connect dots
- Understand what triggers negative emotions
- Process your anxious and depressive thoughts in an analytical and non-emotional way
- Respond appropriately to negative thought patterns
- Accept change like shifting to a new city or buying property
- Learn lessons from experiences
- Resolve disagreement with others
- Focus on feelings of gratitude, optimism and contentment