In the fast-moving digital age, it has become harder to take a step back and explore our innermost thoughts and feelings. Journaling has been rediscovered as a tool for self-discovery and mental wellbeing.
When journaling as a beginner, you might wonder what you will get out of the process - but the benefits of journaling are wide-reaching.
Why Journaling Works
You’ve probably seen many articles and comments promoting the wonders of journaling. But does it work?
Journaling is like a microscope on the mind. Write your thoughts and problems, and suddenly, you can manage them more effectively.
Journaling can help you identify issues, brainstorm possible solutions, explore your subconscious, and express gratitude for the positives in your life.
Whilst journaling is not a substitute for mental health treatment, the benefits of journaling include day-to-day support with mental health, mindfulness and motivation.
Why Journaling Helps with Anxiety - And the Studies Agree!
One of the major benefits of journaling is that it can help you manage anxiety in your everyday life. Writing about intrusive thoughts and worries in detail can pinpoint your fears, and find solutions.
Write down the situation that you fear. What do the surroundings look like? Who is with you? What happens?
Then consider how you would react to the event. Describe your feelings. Would it be as frightening as you imagine? What coping strategies would be good if the event happened?
Journals provide a space to explore your fears safely. Studies have shown clear links between journaling and improvements in depression, anxiety and even physical wellbeing.
Journaling and Mindfulness - A Tool for Meditation
One of the benefits of journaling is that it is a great tool for mindfulness meditation. A mindfulness journal should always be free flowing. Don’t try to control your words. Let them go where they want.
There are many ways that journaling can support mindfulness. For example:
- Write mindfully about your day. What colour were the leaves on the trees? Did it rain heavily, or was the sun baking-hot? Did you enjoy sipping a hot chocolate, or taking a walk through town?
- Write about your thoughts, fears and feelings. Our thoughts can often become bottled in our heads. What is worrying you? What do you want to say to the world? Journaling helps you express emotions, and let go of stress.
- Give gratitude. Especially when we go through difficult times, it can help to think of the joys in our lives. Perhaps you feel grateful for a loved one, your health, or even some kind words you have received. Jot down all these feelings of gratitude in your journal.
Journaling is Good for the Soul (And Much More!)
Journaling lets you express yourself in ways that other writing mediums don’t. Articles, agendas, and even stories, all have to be intricately planned. One of the benefits of journaling is that it allows your thoughts to flow freely. You can write anything you like within your journal.
Your writing doesn’t even have to make sense. Free-writing can unleash the power of your subconscious, helping you to explore your mind and develop your creativity.
Write a page of nonsense words. Write a page of contradicting statements. Write a page of whatever comes into your mind. Start with prompts or let your mind wander. Write whatever helps your words flow naturally.
When you begin journaling, you might not be sure of what to write. Think about what you’re trying to achieve through journaling, and ultimately, allow your mind to guide you through the process. There are many benefits of journaling, and to discover them, you must express your emotions honestly.