The poet William Wordsworth once wrote, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” He knew the importance of jotting down your thoughts and memories on paper before they vanished forever. But journaling is more than simply recording your daily business. It’s about getting in touch with your inner thoughts, and by physically expressing them, coming to understand them. Keeping that in mind, here’s a guide to journaling for good mental health. Simply pick up a notebook and pen, and start writing. Just a page a day—or less, or more—is all you need.
Journaling Is Good for the Brain
The first and most obvious benefit of writing is that it simultaneously engages your intelligence, writing skills, memory, and creativity. Like a muscle, the mind only grows stronger with use, and writing is the kind of exercise regimen you need. Studies have shown that keeping a journal increases a person’s self-confidence and sense of self-awareness. Some researchers have even made the case that it improves the immune system and contributes to better sleep habits, more mindfulness, better memory retention, and more developed communication skills.
Journaling Is a Good Habit That Can Tie in With Others
The nice thing about journaling is that it can take any form. That means you can apply it to many other good practices. You can write a straightforward diary, of course, recording your daily activities and your thoughts and feelings about them. But don’t stop there. Take up a new form of exercise or a sport, and use journaling to chart your progress. Travel a lot? Keep a notebook handy to scribble entries, notes, doodles, and more about your journeys. Have you started collecting some specific type of knickknack? Write about your search. If you like, consider starting an online blog and sharing your thoughts and observations with others. It’s a good way to build up a support network of friends and colleagues.
Journaling Reduces Stress
During difficult times, journaling helps puts things in perspective by revisiting what happened and how you felt, making it easier to decide what to do next. Major life events like marriage or divorce, a major move to a new and different place, or a loved one’s death require a deeper level of thought to process. Writing is the perfect way to do it, combining your sense of reason with your urge to express yourself. Healing remains a slow process, but writing down your thoughts and feelings is a good first step.
Journaling as Preservation
One significant aspect of journaling for good mental health is that it’s a way of preserving a part of yourself. Journals can be intensely private things, and that’s a good thing. But consider making your journal a way to collect your thoughts and observations and leave them for others to discover. It’s not immortality, per se, but it’s one way to live forever.
Authored by Inspire Your Journey