Emotional Health

Journaling Benefits For Emotional Health

How do you feel right now? Are you bored? Happy? Sad? Excited? Angry? Frustrated?

You can improve and change your mood when you take time out to write down what is happening in your life.

Diary

Did you write in a diary when you were younger? Or, did you have a pen pal who you would share your innermost thoughts with and exchange chatty letters regularly? You probably know that you felt better after doing it. So, why wouldn’t you recognize how journaling can benefit your emotional health?

Journaling can leave you feeling more grounded, deeply connected to yourself and others, and even boost your memory. As journaling helps relieve stress, it will also support your immune system thus improving your overall physical health, too!

Ideas

Writing out your ideas will help you clarify what is on your mind. It will help you process the experiences that you have gone through. Journaling helps you recognize your feelings and deal with them. It will help you develop clarity about who you are as a person and what you want from life. You might not feel comfortable sharing your story with others, you might not want to talk about it. Writing about it is a powerful tool. You can think of it as writing your memoirs if that makes it any easier for you to get into it. The point is that you can process experiences, deal with past traumas, and outline what you want to achieve for your future.

It might seem boring, to write about the things that happened to you today. However, Harvard research suggests that we are more interesting than we realize. The subjects in the study were asked to write about current experiences, whether it was a social media update or an activity. They were also asked to rate how interested they were in what they were given to write about. When asked to rate this using a scale of one to seven, three was the average response. Yet, when the subjects were given their journal entries three months later and asked for a new rating the average was 4.34 (https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/Rediscovery_91a38887-12e7-4c5c-a60d-866c0e4a95c4.pdf).

So, if in the moment you are rolling your eyes thinking your journal entry is pointless… know that it isn’t. You will benefit from it when it comes time to reflect.

Little Moments

Even moments that seem insignificant can take on deeper meaning down the line. We often don’t realize just how important these little moments are. We don’t recognize how they are influencing our emotional health. Take the time to complete a detailed inquiry into the smaller moments of your life, look at an insignificant moment about tease out more information that may show you how it impacted your emotions.

Memories

The memories that you record form part of your identify. We are guilty of misremembering the past. As we share a story and embellish it for an audience that becomes part of our internal record. We start to believe that it happened just as we described. Your memory can also be swayed by input from others and future events. So, recording them in a journal can be beneficial to your emotional health. When you run into difficult times, you can go back to a similar time to see how you coped and what you did to overcome.

Keep It Personal

Writing might not be easy for everyone, but a journal isn’t for the eyes of others. This is your own personal path and you don’t need to share it with anyone. So, don’t worry about writing something amazing. Don’t think about how others would perceive your thoughts. Just let it out. As you do, you will see an improvement in your emotional health.

To your continued journey of personal growth

Fran Watson

About Fran Watson

Work from home Career Counsellor helping people with resumes, cover letters and interview tips. Recently published an e-book on Resumes and Cover Letters That Work (www.franwatson.ca). Member of Toastmasters and life-long learner.
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