Who remembers when they kept a diary?
It was most likely pink or blue donned with a cute design, stickers, and gel pens were used for added effect.
Dear Diary, was the classic opener.
A book filled with love letters to the cute boy in class, days when you’re mad because your Mom said you couldn’t go outside to play with your friends, or even better, you wrote a full fledge three pages venting about the argument you had with your bestie on the playground.
Little did you know, your diary would quickly become your refuge, a place to escape.
Living in this digital age, most would say that journaling is outdated, gender specific (for girls/women only, most specifically tweens), and just all around a waste of time.
I’m here to dispel the myth and tell you that:
Journaling is for any and everyone who enjoys writing.
Journaling is for self-expression.
Journaling or “expressive writing” is therapeutic and is one of the most beneficial kinds of writing.
Baikie and Wilhem (2005) conveyed that journaling has emotional and physical benefits in non-clinical and clinical populations when writing about traumatic, stressful, or emotional events. In just 15-20 minutes on 3-5 occasions, over the course of four months yielded results of lowered blood pressure and better liver functionality.
If you’re wondering where to start, why bother, or what the short-term and long-term benefits of journaling are, I’ve got the answers for you!
1. Clarify Thoughts and Feelings
a. Do you ever feel like your head is stuck in a fish bowl? You can’t focus, can’t really breathe, and just feel jumbled up inside. Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts (any and every thought) that comes to your mind, with no edits, no censoring, just laying it out will help you clearly put together the pieces of the puzzle. It will also provide you with a sense of relief to release what you’ve been holding in.
2. Tap into Your Intuition
a. Writing down your thoughts daily will not only foster emotional well-being and emotional regulation, but you’ll notice that you’re more in tune with yourself. You will connect more with your desires and needs. You will know what makes you happy, you can identify your triggers, you can spot toxicity or negative situations, you will learn how to remain positive and present, and ultimately you can become more confident in yourself.
3. Reduces Stress
a. Stress can kill and that’s on PERIOD! An overabundance of stress can be damaging to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Writing about a painful situation, anger, sadness helps release the intensity of these feelings and helps you process in a healthy manner. Once completed, you’ll feel calmer, lighter, and perhaps even healed.
4. Problem Solving
a. You know those times when you have a little falling out with your homegirl, or your family member makes a negative comment about how you’re living your life. Well, writing about disagreements with others or misunderstandings is healthier for you than stewing over it and driving yourself crazy. It can help you understand their point of view and you might come up with solutions to resolve the conflict.
5. Mood Booster
a. You have a bad day? Journal. You feel on top of the world?! Write about it. You’re confused about next steps for your business. Umm.. JOURNAL. Trust me, you’ll gain greater insight and strengthen your emotional functioning along the way.
Now that you’ve learned a few things, Will you give journaling a try?
Remember: The benefits of journaling are long-term.