Most people treat journaling as something they are told to do, or know that they should, but seldom do they ever take up the practice. Even if they do, they fall off track within a few weeks. Journaling is one such activity that teaches us better than any other the art of solitude; how to be present with our own conscious, bear witness to our experience, and fully inhabit our inner lives. Not only that, journaling also has such a positive impact on our mind that it has now also been integrated with many therapies in treating patients with mood disorders. It is getting easier by the day to journal, especially with various apps available for your phone.
There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical and mental well-being.
Journalling can help you get an insight of what you truly feel on the inside. In other words, you are taking the time to sit and write about something that is influencing your emotions and helps you create a more realistic view of what feelings you are actually feeling.
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The hustle and bustle of life can be stressful, but taking some time out and expressing your thoughts and experiences can be a great stress reliever. When you have a problem and you’re stressed, keeping a journal can help you find what’s causing that stress or anxiety. Then, once you’ve identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and, in turn, reduce stress. Journalling also helps you prioritize your problems, hence helping you organise yourself. This will enable you to work efficiently and boost your satisfaction levels.
Journalling can significantly improve your mood by providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviour. This is especially effective for people suffering from depression, as it helps them analyse the cause of their distress and gives them an insight on how they can effectively tackle it.
Furthermore, writing in a journal can act as an antidepressant. After a session of furious expressive writing, the individual starts to feel a lot better and look at the situation in a different light. “What happened? Why is it bad? What can I do to fix it?”- these questions eventually lead the person to develop a positive attitude and adjust to whatever situation they are in.
So why does journaling make you feel better? The principle reason is revelation. It is common knowledge in fields of psychology that avoiding or inhibiting unpleasant emotions or suppressing your inner desires and thoughts can lead to intra-psychic conflicts, which in turn makes you tense, your mood negative and your mind disorganised. But if you express, show and engage in a free association session with your journal regularly, you’ll be able to reach into your blocked emotions and will definitely feel a lot better in many ways. For the same reason talking about getting fired with your close friend makes you feel better, journaling lets you lament and process the death of your favourite character in a TV show.