Remember when as a teenager you used to keep a diary hidden under your mattress which you’d discuss all your thoughts and feelings with? If you did that, you did the right thing as journaling was perhaps the rope that kept your mental health protected.
In today’s social media world, though, journaling is of value because of the pictures it gets you for Tumblr and Instagram. However, keeping a journal is not only good for your Instagram, but it also great for your health.
Expressive writing is good way to cope with your emotions, and it also comes with many other research-backed benefits. Here’s a list of the advantages that accompany the creative practice:
1 – Takes down stress
When you start noting down what’s been bugging you on paper, you do good for your mental health. You see, stress, if ignored, can cause a number of problems for you for both your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health. Health complications such as heart disease, obesity as well as diabetes are linked to stress.
Journaling is a great way to control stress as it gives you an outlet for negative thoughts, improves your problem-solving skills as well as clears your mind. It also organizes your thoughts.
2 – Improves your vocabulary
Keeping a journal also enables you to increase your IQ. Research backs this too as it recognizes writing as language learning which can be positively linked to intelligence. The role that journaling plays in improving your intelligence is simple.
When you write, you strive to include new words which leads you to learn more and improve your vocabulary. And an expanded vocabulary is the best measure of your intelligence.
3 – Boosts your memory
When you write your thoughts down in a journal, you give your mind the time to process things. This can improve your cognitive abilities. Journaling also organizes thoughts and puts bad ones out of focus. It can even help you see how some problems are just not worth the space in your head.
This can boost memory capacity as well as improve your memory. Your brain also becomes sharper overall when you keep a journal.
4 – Encourages mindfulness
Mindfulness works to relieve you of stress and so does journaling. Unsurprisingly, both the words are linked. Mindfulness refers to focusing on the present moment while letting go of past worries and not thinking about future problems. Achieving this state of mind is possible with journaling.
How? Expressive writing pulls your attention to the present and blurs out both the past and the future. Journaling awakens internal awareness and it allows you to focus on your current thoughts and emotions.
5 – Helps achieve goals
When you write down your goals and track your progress by writing details down, you’re better able to achieve them. By writing your aspirations and aims, you signal your brain of what’s important and needs to be done.
This leads your reticular activating system (RAS) to notify the brain of relevant opportunities and ways to achieve your goals. The more detailed your written goals, the more seriously your brain takes them.
6 – Enhances emotional intelligence
Typically, the people who are best able to connect with themselves on a deep level are able to do so with others as well. Writing your emotions down has a similar effect as that of reading stories; it can boost your emotional intelligence.
As your empathy is expanded, you are better able to understand how and what others are feeling. This allows you to form better connections with yourself as well as others.
7 – Takes down blood pressure
High blood pressure can damage your health in more ways than one. Elevated blood pressure levels can increase the risk of heart attack, heart diseases, stroke, etc. Writing down your emotions also helps reduce your blood pressure which it does primarily so by reducing stress and anxiety.
If you struggle with unmaintained blood pressure markers as it is, consider adding journaling to your routine. The simple habit can bring your blood pressure down.
8 – Strengthens immunity
Journaling also improves your overall health by protecting you from the attacks of diseases and ailments. Basically, writing down your thoughts and emotions in a journal can make T-lymphocytes stronger. These are immune cells which can be disrupted because of stress.
By boosting the immune system, journaling can protect your health from a number of diseases and ailments. It promotes better liver functionality and can decrease the symptoms associated with arthritis as well as asthma.
9 – Reduces symptoms of chronic illness
Journaling can improve physical health by not only boosting immune health but also by reducing the symptoms of chronic illnesses as well as by speeding up the body’s natural healing process. A study published in the American Medical Association journal shows that patients who kept a journal struggled with less symptoms than those who didn’t.
This is because journaling can reduce stress which can cause an illness to worsen. What’s more, the emotional release that comes with journaling also improves sleep which allows for better healing.
10 – Boosts self-esteem
Journaling can also boost your confidence as it allows you to relive positive moments. When self-doubt and problems cloud your brain, you can write down what’s troubling you and list your achievements beside it.
This can erase negativity as well as encourage the release of dopamine and endorphins. These, in turn, improve your mood, making you feel happier.
11 – Replicates mediation
The benefits of journaling don’t end here. The habit of writing down your feelings can mimic the effects of meditation by inducing calm which can reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression. This shows that journaling also improves your mental health.
Essentially, journaling is a therapeutic practice which can promote relaxation. Keeping a journal as part of one’s routine is a great way to stabilize emotions after all.
12 – Sparks creativity
Journaling gets your ideas flowing. By means of expressive writing, you can tap into unopened ideas even when it seems that you’ve been lacking in the creative department lately. Writers use this trick to get rid of writing blocks.
Keeping a journal also supports creativity as it enables you to remember your ideas. By writing down your ideas, you are better able to build upon your ideas as well.
13 – Improves communication skills
People who are good at communication as it is can find that journaling can further improve their communication skills. Writing your feelings down does this by streamlining thoughts as well as allowing you to write down any comments or lines that you can use in future communication.
In this way, the habit of keeping a journal makes one more expressive. It also makes communicating complicated matters less stressful. This has both personal and professional benefits.
14 – Betters relationships
Journaling also helps strengthen bonds and improve one’s personal relationships. This is because journaling helps you work through problems, reduces the stress of a situation, and helps you see where you could have gone wrong as well.
It wipes off emotional fog and helps one see better at a problem. In this way, it promotes healthier relationships in the workplace, friend’s circle or house of a person.
To wrap up, journaling brings several many benefits for your mental as well as physical health. It also improves your social skills. So, if you’ve been considering getting started with the habit, don’t think; get to it!