Mindset Matters: Journaling for Optimal Health
There are SO MANY Health Benefits of journaling!
Here's a quick overview for you!
Note: This blog post distills some of the biggest benefits and takeaways from a longer (incredible!) article on the health benefits of journaling from Positive Psychology (note: all research references are at the bottom of that page!) https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-journaling/
Health and Wellbeing are Multifaceted
Your health is about so much more than just your body! To be truly healthy you must consider your physical health, sure, but what about your mindset? How are you feeling emotionally? Right now, we are going through an unprecedented time filled with stress and unknowns. Journaling is just one way to help process and cope with the inevitable anxious thoughts and feelings that are coming up for many of us.
Apart from being a great way to process our emotions during a tough time, journaling happens to have a PLETHORA of established health physical and mental health benefits based in sound research! Check them out below and/or in the video, and consider adding a regular journaling practice to your day this week!
Note: you can also get this info through a video here:
General Benefits of Journaling - Journaling Can:
- Boost your mood/affect;
- Enhance your sense of well-being;
- Reduce symptoms of depression before an important event (like an exam);
- Reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma;
- Improve your working memory
- Make you more aware / self-aware;
- Help you detect sneaky, unhealthy patterns in your thoughts and behaviors;
- Allow you to take more control over your life and puts things in perspective;
- Shift from a negative mindset to a more positive one;
- Help with identifying and accepting your emotions; and
- Help with managing stress.
Research shows that journaling can also ease the symptoms of various mental and physical illnesses:
- strengthens the immune system,
- drops blood pressure,
- helps you sleep better and longer,
- improves cognitive functioning,
- reduces rumination and promotes action,
- reduces depression significantly in people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in scores measured after 3 days of expressive writing, 20 minutes per day,
- calms and clears anxious thoughts,
- helps release pent-up feelings and everyday stress,
- helps with letting go of negative thoughts,
- enhances your self-awareness and teaches you about your triggers,
- allows you to track your progress over time.
Adding Gratitude to your writing/journaling practice can be an awesome way to supercharge your journaling habit and cultivate even greater and longer-term wellbeing!
image from: https://shatincollege.edu.hk/gratitude/
Benefits of Gratitude Journaling:
- boosting your long-term well-being,
- encouraging exercise (not sure why, but, hey, bonus!),
- reducing physical pain and symptoms,
- increasing both length and quality of sleep,
- increasing your optimism and, indirectly, your happiness and health,
- reducing symptoms of depression, for as long as you continue gratitude journaling,
- helping you make progress toward your goals,
- making you friendlier, more open, and more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, which can enhance and expand your social support network!
So, to sum this up, if you are thinking "yeah yeah, journaling, whatever...but how much can writing words on a page really help? What REALLY are the benefits of journaling?" You might get a quicker answer if you were to ask, “What AREN’T the benefits of journaling?” 😊 😆 🙏
Looking for a quick way to jumpstart a journaling habit? Check out my other (very short) blog post I wrote on two ways to practice gratitude journaling below - one of the ways is to use the 5 minute gratitude journal gratitude app, which I've also linked below for you!
2 ways to practice gratitude here: https://medium.com/better-better/two-...
5 Minute Gratitude Journal:
iPhone/iPad App https://apps.apple.com/us/app/five-mi...
Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de...
Hardcopy Journal (amazon affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2SoSz7p