Unexpected Benefits of Journaling
Keeping a daily journal might seem like something for famous thinkers, or even angsty teenagers. However, in an increasingly digital age, taking the time out to put pen to paper and record our experiences, feelings, gratitude and dreams is a powerful tool for personal development.
When people are struggling with stress, depression, or anxiety, journaling can be a powerful tool to improve their mental health. It’s a great way to gain control of your emotions and connect with yourself.
Keeping a daily journal can have a surprising impact on your mental health. Below we list some of the main benefits.
1. Help clarify your thoughts and feelings
It is difficult to think through a situation clearly when your thoughts become muddled, chaotic and confusing. Taking a few minutes to sit down and write them down is a great way clarify your thoughts and to stop circular thinking and negative thought patterns in their tracks.
2. Manage stress and anxiety
Writing down our fears and anxieties can help release the intense emotion surrounding them. By describing them to yourself in a safe, neutral space that is outside your own mind, you can become clearer about these emotions. In doing so, you stop them from weighing you down and take steps towards letting them go.
3. Practise gratitude
While unloading negative emotions and clearing them from your mind is part of journaling, the process can also include practicing gratitude. By including a section, either at the start or end of your journal with all the things, people and experiences you are thankful for. Taking time out of your day to practise gratitude has a powerful and positive impact on your mental health.
4. Recognise triggers and thought patterns
According to psychologist Barbara Markway, ‘there’s simply no better way to learn about your thought processes than to write them down.’ To challenge unhealthy thought processes and patterns we first need to understand what these are. Keeping a daily journal is a proven way to recognise triggers, thought patters and automatic self-talk and get to the root of any negative emotions or anxieties surrounding them.
5. Learn to be honest and true to yourself
A journal is a safe place for your deepest and most intimate thoughts. By expressing yourself freely and authentically every day, you are practising an honest and true internal communication. With time this internal monologue will radiate outwards, enabling you to live a life that is true to you.
A daily journal is a powerful tool which allows you to step outside of your chaotic schedule and focus wholly on yourself. It’s a chance to unwind and decompress from negative experiences or thoughts, whilst also creating time to acknowledge our gratitude and achievements of the day. Through reflective journaling you can understand yourself better, helping you to strive to live your best life.