The Benefits of Journaling

The Benefits of Journaling

Life can be hard to navigate sometimes. With social media we are more bombarded more than ever with information and ways to publicly share what we think or feel. There are numerous benefits of journaling.

Journaling can help you to slow down and process your thoughts and feelings while improving your mental and emotional health.

Journaling is simply writing down your thoughts, feelings and experiences. It can be structured or unstructured. It doesn’t have to be artful or in complete sentences. It’s for you and however you want it to be.

What are the benefits of journaling?

Journaling can help you:

Manage anxiety, reduce stress and cope with depression: Releasing pent up anger, sadness, or worry and putting it on paper can offer release and help clarify situations. Journal therapy can help you process feelings and trauma. Anxiety, stress and depression can negatively affect our entire body and lives so it’s key to find a way to address them.

Stretch your I.Q: Since language is involved, journaling can help you increase your vocabulary.

Achieve goals: If you have specific goals, journaling is a good way to track them. If you don’t have specific goals, journaling can be a way to find out what goals you may want to have. Reading a few days of your journal entries can help you see trends in your life and what you may want to improve or change.

Be emotionally intelligent: “Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive and manage your emotions, and that of others,” a mental health writer shares in Huff Post. “Journaling is an outlet for processing emotions and increases self-awareness. This internal familiarity becomes a bridge of empathy [so you can] understand what others are experiencing.”

Improve communication skills: “Writing has critical connections to speaking” according to a Stanford report.

Journaling tips

Materials: Get an inexpensive notebook, journal or piece(s) of paper to write on.

Start where you can: You can write about whatever comes to your mind, as little or as much as you like. Time yourself and start at 15 minutes or less if that helps.

Journaling prompts: If you want to journal about something specific or have a hard time starting, you can write about a specific question, like, “How was your day?” or “What are you grateful for?” You can find more journal prompt ideas online or buy a guided journal that already has questions and journaling inspiration inside.

Get the family involved: Journaling can be a good way for kids to express themselves or achieve goals too, even if they don’t have advanced reading and writing skills. Make it more fun by decorating journals together and having a journal jar. Ask everyone to write journaling prompts on slips of paper and put them in a jar. Then when it’s time to journal, someone can take out a slip of paper from the jar and read what the prompt will be. You can make journaling a daily or weekly activity. It’s up to you and your family whether or not you want to share a journal entry.

Avoid possible journaling pitfalls like wallowing or living too much in your head by asking yourself some important questions.

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