Journaling is an excellent way to calm your mind, focus on yourself, taking the time to connect, pause and listen to what your own needs/thoughts and feelings are.
You don’t have to be a good writer (or even a good speller) to get something out of the practice of journaling. All you need is a pen and paper or a blank document on your screen and you can get started.
Journaling is an incredibly beneficial self-care technique, which doesn’t just enhance feelings of happiness, but reduces stress, clarifies thoughts and feelings, and ultimately helps you get to know yourself better.
Here are some of the benefits of regularly journaling.
- Stress Relief Studies have shown that emotion-based journaling has been linked to both decreased mental distress and increased well-being. Taking some time to slow down after a busy day and reflect is a great way to cultivate gratefulness and perspective in your mind. After writing them down, you’ll have a better opportunity to view your stressors in a more detached, objective way. This allows you to brainstorm solutions rather than just stay mired in the stress.
- Improved Memory Journaling can free up your cognitive resources to focus on more important things than your stressors. Writing about your thoughts and feelings or even just the events of the day can allow your brain to better contextualize those events and allows your brain to retain them better. Something as simple as recapping the major events of a week so you can revisit them will allow you to remember them much better (and provides you a hard copy even if you don’t)
- Trauma Coping Journaling is one of the most common tools used to help trauma victims cope and process what happened to them. A study done with people suffering from PTSD found that those who participated in expressive writing activities saw significant improvement in their moods and a reduction in their stress hormones.
- Anxiety Reduction Journaling is a great way to calm an anxious mind and allow you to regain your peace. A study showed that even 15-20 minutes of journaling a day had significant effects on the brain including decreased anxiety and an overall increase in well-being. Mindful habits like journaling are a great way to calm the mind and relieve tension in the body.
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