Do you keep a journal? If not, did you know that journaling has amazing benefits for both your mental health but also your physical wellbeing? It may seem strange to think that writing can improve your health and wellbeing, but it is definitely worth a try.
Here Are 5 Reasons You Should Be Journaling Now!
Mindfulness is a term you hear quite often and is a mental activity you should participate in regularly. Journaling can help you improve your mindfulness by bringing you into the present. Exploring your current thoughts and feelings in the moment.
- How are you feeling right now?
- What has triggered these feelings?
- Are your thoughts predominantly positive or negative?
- Do these thoughts and feelings cause physical symptoms?
- How does your body feel right now, in this moment?
These questions will help you analyse and evaluate your current mental and physical state and what is causing them. Also, getting into the practice of noticing and evaluating your feelings in the moment, you can use this during the day, even when you’re not journaling!
This is what mindfulness is about, taking moments to gather yourself. This can happen throughout the day but writing or word processing these thoughts make them more solid and recognisable. Processing and reflecting on your thoughts and emotions can help take weight off your shoulders.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Through the mindful practice of journaling, you gain emotional intelligence and self-awareness. This is developed by analysing, evaluating and reflecting on your every thought and emotion.
Your journal becomes a place where you are able to work through all of your emotions more effectively and purposefully. This will let you deal with them and overcome struggle so that your emotions do not disturb your daily life.
A journal can also become a record for you to realise any patterns of behaviour and emotional triggers. This is how you develop personal emotional intelligence as you become fully aware and understanding of how your emotions affect you and how you can manage them.
Often, we can feel ruled and a product of our emotions. However, this is not the case and we are completely able to control our emotions, actions and reactions. Your mental state can be completely changed by your choices.
Therefore, developing emotional intelligence and self-awareness through journaling is very beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing. It provides you more control, understanding and opportunity to know yourself and your happiness.
3. Clarity + Problem Solving
As you know, journaling is great at bringing clarity and understanding to your complex emotional wellbeing. However, it can also be extremely beneficial for clarifying thoughts, events and problems you may be facing in your day to day life.
Writing down and exploring your thoughts and current problems allows you to process them differently and provides a new perspective. Process the problems, struggles and anything associated with them in a calm and thoughtful way in your journal.
How can you resolve the situation? What new perspective has this offered you?
Journaling can greatly help you problem solve any current situations and clarity on the best ways to move forward. This can generate a more positive outlook and feeling towards these problems and let go of any stress associated with them.
When you journal and gain clarity on problems, you also gain clarity throughout the day. The pressures on your mind are eased and you are able to concentrate on the present and be more mindful, aware and clear.
4. Ease Physical Stress
If you you’re not aware of the mind body connection, you should be. Holistic health and wellness takes an approach to nurturing the whole body and not just resting physical symptoms. Often, we may find that physical symptoms are caused by our mental state or stress.
Therefore, journaling to improve your mental health can have the same effect on your physical health and wellbeing.
Perhaps you suffer from headaches, muscle tension or anxiety and never knew the cause?
Through journaling you can become aware of your thoughts and emotions, develop mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and gain clarity. This reflection can reveal the inner struggle that you are dealing with on a daily basis and causes of physical pain.
When you do this, you can feel the tension and weight physically lift from your body too and improve both your mental and physical wellbeing simultaneously.
Studies from James Pennebaker, who discovered expressive writing, and other researchers have found a correlation between writing and healing. For example, people have been know to visit the doctor less and heal wounds quicker.
Expressive writing about trauma and your deepest feelings can benefit your health in more ways than one. Tackling problems through journaling can boost your inner health, immune system and emotional health. Isn’t that amazing?!
Journaling and expressive writing allows you to face your trauma or struggles head on and explore your emotions in depth. Freely writing and not filtering or restraining yourself from your emotions can completely open yourself up, raw and real.
Within a journal, you can truly express yourself. Through this release, it is proven that this can improve your health. So why not take the chance if there is any benefit, however small.
Time to Start Journaling for Health and Wellbeing
The history and research regarding journaling and how it is good for the mind and body is compelling. Developing emotional intelligence, self-awareness and mindfulness through journaling practice is excellent for your mental health and personal development. This self development also releases physical tension, pain and can boost your immune system.
With all of these benefits in mind, will you start journaling now?
Journaling practice is personal and for your own health and wellness. This means that it is your responsibility and commitment to yourself. It is an activity that allows freedom and expression, something you want to make time for and enjoy.
Do not punish yourself if you miss a day or don’t feel like journaling sometimes. This is just natural and journaling shouldn’t feel like a chore. Instead it is a chance for you to release tension, come reflect on your emotions and gain a better understanding of yourself.
Brittany is the co-creator of Mind Medicine, where holistic health and wellbeing are the focus. Changing your mindset, consuming healthy nutrition and undertaking fitness to encourage health, happiness, and fulfilment in everyday life, Check them out!