The benefits of journaling go far beyond helping you become more organized. Taking the time to release your thoughts, feelings, and emotions on paper can be a life-changing habit. Despite popular belief, journaling is more than just a pragmatic means to an end or something reserved solely for emotional teens - everyone can and should do it.
For most people, getting started requires a degree of patience and commitment. However, it doesn’t take long before this simple habit makes a significant difference, especially when it comes to your mental health. So, scientifically speaking, what exactly can journaling do for you? Read on to discover the top five science-backed benefits of journaling.
As you may know, stress is a leading cause of anxiety and depression. Journaling is a great way to manage stress and prevent it from developing.
It does so by giving you a place to explore your emotions, release tension and identify specific sources of stress in order to eliminate them. When a journal is used for planning, it can further reduce stress by helping you keep track of possible outcomes of a situation. Additionally, journaling promotes action, thus lowering stress-inducing rumination.
Setting aside some time every day to write is a great way to practice discipline. The more disciplined you are, the more productive, organized and successful you’ll become. Here are some guides to help you build the habit of daily journaling when starting off.
Of course, to participate in journaling, you have to write. And we know from multiple studies that, one of the many benefits of writing is that it can increase your IQ. One report by the University of Victoria noted a positive correlation between intelligence and writing as part of language learning.
As you write in your journal, you’ll naturally have the urge to discover new words and increase your vocabulary, which is one of the single best measures of overall intelligence.
Journaling brings your wandering mind to attention and helps you actively engage with your thoughts. It puts you in the present moment, where past frustrations and future anxieties don’t stand in the way. This is known as mindfulness, a state that is strongly connected with happiness and better overall well-being.
A 2013 NCBI study took a group of adults who spent 20 minutes per day writing down their thoughts and feelings for three consecutive days, two weeks prior to a biopsy, versus a control group who didn’t. 76 percent of the group who wrote fully healed 11 days after the biopsy, while that number was only 58 percent in the control group.
This is likely due to journaling’s ability to reduce stress. When you write about distressing events, it helps you make sense of them and lower stress, thus helping your body heal faster. Journaling can also promote healing by helping you discover the root cause of the problem, such as in this case where a woman used journaling to overcome MS.
Journaling can do so much for your life. Practice it every day to become a stronger, happier, more intelligent and more successful person.
Nooria Khan is a tech-savvy content marketing expert in a digital marketing enterprise. Her passion for learning and love for words has propelled her into a career in digital marketing. She has been featured in Business Insider, Techopedia, Reader’s Digest, Business2Community, and several others. She always keeps a journal and a cat by her side, and the only time she doesn't play it safe is when she's writing.