Journaling For Health and Well-Being
I’ve always been a proponent of journaling on a regular basis. More than ever, journaling offers an oasis – providing a respite from the pressures and tumult of these scary and unnerving times. I find I’m journaling more than usual these days and I’m encouraging my clients to put pen to paper to record what they’re feeling as regularly as they can as well in order to:
- Help organize thoughts and feelings – If emotions are taking over, clouding your ability to think clearly, writing it out can do wonders. By putting strong feelings into words, you can start to make better sense of those feelings.
- Feel more gratitude – We often hear that the best attitude is gratitude along with the idea that the more grateful you are for what you have, the more space you open for more good to come into your life. If you’re not already making note of the things you’re grateful for each day, try creating a gratitude journal. If sitting down to write free form feels too intimidating, a gratitude journal is an easy way to start the journaling process.
- Get a better perspective – Sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind – airing the good, the bad and the ugly as regularly as you can for twenty minutes or more – can be valuable therapy unto itself. It can help you see the forest for the trees in ways you may not have considered, and, in effect, help you solve pressing issues in a cathartic and healing way. Writing can be your own private therapist helping to steer you in a positive direction.
In addition to journaling being therapeutic for your emotional health, author Maud Purcell notes that it can have a direct influence on your physical health as well – citing a study conducted by James Pennebaker of the University of Texas at Austin. In an article for PsychCentral, Purcell notes that Pennebaker’s research found that regular journaling actually strengthened immune cells – called T-lymphocytes – determining that the act of putting pen to paper as a regular exercise is an effective stress management tool reducing the impact of stressors on physical health.
There are so many positive benefits to journaling, and in these historic times, a journal can also provide you with a record of your experiences as they relate to the events of the day – making it a valuable keepsake for years to come.
So I hope you’ll go ‘old school’ and pick up a pen, find a pretty diary, blank book, or plain old spiral notebook and dive in. It only has to be between you and the page, and you’ll feel so much better for it!