How Journaling can Improve Your Quality of Life
When you think of ‘journaling’ is your first thought of a teenage girl twirling her hair and writing about her high school crush? This is not an uncommon thought. However, many people are completely unaware of the benefits it provides for your mental and physical well- being. Research has shown that reflective writing on meaningful topics significantly improves physical and emotional well-being and that the benefits appear to require translating experiences into language.
Some health benefits of journaling are it; strengthens immune cells called T-lymphocytes,
has been shown to drop blood pressure, improves sleep quality, helps reduce depression and anxiety and increases positive mood, social engagement, and quality of close relationships. If you are just beginning counselling such as CBT it is helpful to journal along side this. Writing will help you identify when, where and how often you experience for example; panic attacks. It can also help you track your progress and get to know yourself on a deeper level.
Tips to get you started with Journaling
- Get used to the pen and paper again. In today’s world it’s all keyboards and touch screens, editing and deleting. For someone in their 20s or 30s to start writing with pen and paper again can take some adjusting. A benefit of writing by hand is that it prevents you from editing your words and you can just write freely.
- Write in the same location every day. Pick somewhere to write every day, such as your bedroom where it is peaceful and quiet or your favourite café in town where the background noise feels soothing and allows you to disappear into your thoughts. Wherever you choose to have it as your writing place, the important thing is that it’s comfortable and allows you to get into the zone.
- Title it. This might not be for everyone, but it gives your journals a nice personal touch. Leave the first page blank and when you have filled all the pages give it a title to describe what this phase of your life entailed. It will be nice in years to come to look back and know what each journal was about.