A lot of people might be surprised that keeping a journal can actually improve your health. The benefits from this mental health asset have actually proven to extend into physical health. Everybody can use journaling as a nonjudgmental place to complain about life, explain stuff, recant or even just express your deepest darkest emotions and thoughts.
Probably the best benefit of journaling is that you get the sense of safety and privacy that isn’t extended to us in other parts of life. In this Internet age, there are not very many things that are secret, safe or even private about your life. If you keep a journal however you can say things that you might not say out loud without the fear of rejection, misunderstandings regret and you don’t even have to be politically correct. A journal is a place where you can always be yourself.
You can use a journal as a sanctuary from the stress and demands of just living life. Journaling is all about the relationship that you have with yourself. Your thoughts and feelings are vitally important to your self-esteem and sense of well-being. We all have things we won’t even tell people that we trust, but a journal will allow us to get those words out without allowing them to sit inside your mind and fester.
The main psychological benefit of journaling is called catharsis which means to release your emotions. The release of emotions will lower your tension and anxiety surrounding the past feelings and experiences your journaling about. If you’ve ever visited a psychiatrist, the type of conversation you’re having with your journal is ideally what you should have with a psychiatrist. However, many of us don’t share everything when visiting a psychiatrist. Just writing about your emotions in an abstract sense has proven to be more relaxing than actually verbalizing them because when you verbalize your emotions you can agitate trauma.
As far as physical benefits, studies have shown that it strengthens your immune system by increasing T-lymphocytes. Some studies show it helps with pain management, fatigue, lowers blood pressure and even helps depression. It’s stress reduction benefit decreases arthritis, insomnia, asthma symptoms, and other chronic conditions.
I know I was required to have a journal while I was a child in school but found myself giving it up when I reached adulthood. A few months ago I realized that it’s never too late to start again. I started writing at least three times a week for 15 minutes at a time and let me tell you I felt so much better. You can write whatever you want just don’t get stuck in the past all the time reliving those negative thoughts and trauma. So if you tried therapy and is not really working or if you just need the added benefit of feeling better about life go ahead and start a journal and see if it helps.
Happy journaling ~~Lonnie