February 17, 2021

Why create a journaling routine? Our culture is obsessed with reporting every tiny detail of our day. We share inspirational quotes, write a short tweet about what’s bothering us that day, and even post pictures of what we’re eating for lunch. While this type of documenting makes for great memories to look back on Timehop, it does not lead to any type of true self-reflection or healing benefits.

Did you know that on average people have at least 60 thousand thoughts a day? Yikes! Just imagine the insights and wisdom in those thoughts that get suppressed and pushed below your conscious mind before you’re able to process them. Don’t let them get away! Journaling can help you unlock your unconscious mind and improve your mental and physical health in the process. To reap any of these benefits though, you must start journaling. Let’s look closer at the benefits of regular journaling.

Keep a Record of Progress

It's so easy to get caught up in your day to day life that you don’t notice how much progress you have made. Journaling is an excellent way to keep a record of what you have done and have evidence of how far you have come towards your goal. Keeping track of your activities is also a great way to make yourself aware of any bad habits or patterns that could be holding you back.

Mental Health Benefits

While the topic of mental health is gaining momentum in our society, it is often still overlooked. That’s such a shame! If you’re only focusing on your physical health you are truly doing your body an injustice. Your physical health and mental health work closely with each other. If one begins to deteriorate, the other will follow.

A major benefit of journaling is the reduction of symptoms of mental illness. Depression, stress, and anxiety can tangle your thoughts and make you feel like there is no way out. Writing things out in a safe space will help you sort through your jumbled mess. Even if what you write doesn’t make sense to anyone else, it can provide relief in times when depression or anxiety takes over.

Journaling also promotes a more positive mindset and outlook on life. Writing down what you are thankful for, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is, will give you a more positive outlook on life. It works like a domino effect: once you start looking for positive things around you, the more you will start to notice.

From above photo of hands of unrecognisable woman writing in notebook.

Physical Health Benefits

You might be wondering how mental health and physical health could be connected. The truth is, they are so closely connected that you can’t affect one without influencing the other.

In fact, research has shown that journaling can boost your immune system function, enhance wound healing, and reduce high blood pressure. It has also been proven to reduce the severity of asthma and arthritis symptoms. Crazy, right??

It may sound crazy that journaling can help heal physical injuries, but it’s true! Remember when I said that your mental and physical health are connected? Physical pain and injuries often cause people to feel alone and isolated which can have adverse effects on their physical body. These negative feelings can interfere with the healing process of the wounds.

Working through these feelings through journaling has been found to drastically improve the outcome of the patient. In fact, Time magazine even reported on a study in 2016 that suggested journaling for twenty minutes a day about traumatic injuries and the emotions associated with the experience speeds up the healing process of physical injuries.

Better sleep is also a positive side effect of journaling. Sleep affects literally every cell in your body including stress hormones, immune system, and blood pressure. Not getting enough sleep can severely harm your physical and mental health. Working through your emotional stress through journaling is critical to your health because less stress means better sleep.

Beautiful woman sitting on a parquet floor

Boosts Memory

Generally, we repeat destructive patterns in our life because we are so quick to move on from them that they don’t register in our brain. The act of physically writing these events or feelings in a journal helps break that cycle by solidifying it into your memory.

Increase self-discipline

When you write down your goals on paper, you are committing to them. You’ve made a promise to yourself that you can’t deny because it is right there in black and white. When you keep this promise to yourself you will begin to feel accomplished and show self-discipline in other areas of your life.

Journaling is by far one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health. And the best part is that literally, anybody can do it! There’s no requirement or specific steps required. The physical and mental benefits are just too great to ignore any longer. Go find yourself a cute journal, grab your favorite pen, and get started!

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