Categorized | Health, Healthy Lifestyle

Journaling Can Improve Your Mental & Physical Well-Being


Do you want to boost productivity, reduce stress, navigate complex emotions, and give your brain a much-needed break Journaling offers all this and more.

By Melanie Allen
Wealth of Geeks

Experts estimate approximately 25 percent of the population will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year. Recent studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that an easy-to-start daily task may help take control of your mental health.

Do you want to boost productivity, reduce stress, navigate complex emotions, and give your brain a much-needed break?

Journaling offers all this and more.

Writing your thoughts, tracking your progress, or exploring your inner self on paper can change your life.

Journaling Offers Mental Health Benefits
Concrete evidence showcasing the benefits is lacking because researchers only recently began studying the effects. A 2018 study found that Positive Affect Journaling (PAJ), a method that has clients focus on positive aspects of their lives to help them regulate their emotions, reduced mental distress.

A more recent study conducted in 2022 found some correlation between the practice and improved mental health in patients experiencing depression and anxiety disorders.

While both studies indicated a potential connection between journaling and mental wellness, neither was conclusive. However, many mental health experts see positive outcomes in their patients and recommend journaling to their clients while the research catches up.

Psychotherapist Abby Wilson, LCSW, encourages clients to journal as a coping mechanism. She believes keeping a journal leads to positive outcomes because it helps people become more aware of their thought patterns, allowing us to recognize when we have unhelpful or negative thoughts.

Billy Roberts, a licensed therapist who focuses on patients with ADHD, says that journaling can help patients gain perspective on the negative thoughts they experience in a safe and structured way.

Journaling can help us understand our own emotions along with the feelings of those around us, cope with adverse events while focusing on the good in our lives, and learn why we behave in specific ways, giving us the tools we need to change.

Physical Benefits Of Journaling
Trish Glynn, MA, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida, stresses the benefits of journaling for physical wellness in addition to mental health.

Glynn says that writing for 15 minutes three days a week has been shown to lower blood pressure, boost memory and comprehension, and improve overall mood. Researchers have studied the impact of journaling on health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, and cancer, all with initial positive results.

Candace Kotkin-De Carvalho, LSW, LCADC, CCS, CCTP, is the clinical director at Absolute Awakenings and considers stress reduction a top benefit of therapeutic journaling.

She says journaling helps people relax, thus reducing stress and preventing physical symptoms associated with stress, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Journaling Can Also Boost Productivity
Although most mental health experts focus on journaling to promote health and wellness, the practice also has numerous productivity benefits.

Heather Wilson, Executive Director at Epiphany Wellness, says that journaling can help clients track their progress as they work towards achieving their goals. Recording the positive steps you take and your success can keep you motivated.

Wilson explains that tracking your progress and accomplishments increases your sense of control, which may help you stay focused and driven to follow through on goals.

Emma Williams, certified strengths and career coach and Chief Research Officer at High5, explains that writing your goals in an organized way helps you clarify your priorities and keep you focused on what’s important.

Williams recommends the bullet journal method developed by Ryder Carrol but says it’s more important to find something that fits your lifestyle than to use a specific tool.

Different Journals Offer Different Benefits
Numerous types of journals are available, offering users various options to suit their needs.

Plain-lined journals are best for journeys of self-discovery or working through complex emotions, while bullet journals are better suited to assist with productivity. Niche journals offer prompts, quotes, and inspiration to guide users on their journey, and blank-page journals are perfect for those who prefer sketching to writing.

Starting A Journal Is Simple
One of the best things about journaling is that it’s low-cost and easy to start. Users can begin enjoying the fruits of journaling with a cheap spiral notebook and pen from their local big box store.

Tech-savvy journalers may prefer using a journaling app or creating a video journal. These options are perfect for those who don’t like writing but still want to experience some of the benefits journaling offers.

Once you develop a journaling habit, you can explore the various journals available that will help you dig deeper and work towards specific goals.

Why Not Try?
Journaling is a low-effort activity with benefits far surpassing any cost. It may be time to pick up a notebook and explore how journaling can change your life. — AP/Wealth Of Geeks

This article was produced by Partners in Fire and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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