Can journaling help your health?

Apparently it can. Both PsychCentral.com and Psychology Today agree that journaling can help your health.

Reduce stress, be more productive

According to PsychCentral, the benefits might be as minimal as reduced stress or help you manage your emotions. The article indicates journaling can help:

  • Clarify your thoughts and feelings. Do you ever seem all jumbled up inside, unsure of what you want or feel? Taking a few minutes to jot down your thoughts and emotions (no editing!) will quickly get you in touch with your internal world.
  • Know yourself better. By writing routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about situations and people who are toxic for you — important information for your emotional well-being.
  • Reduce stress. Writing about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release the intensity of these feelings. By doing so you will feel calmer and better able to stay in the present.
  • Solve problems more effectively. Typically we problem solve from a left-brained, analytical perspective. But sometimes the answer can only be found by engaging right-brained creativity and intuition. Writing unlocks these other capabilities, and affords the opportunity for unexpected solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
  • Resolve disagreements with others. Writing about misunderstandings rather than stewing over them will help you to understand another’s point of view. And you just may come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict. (article).

Write out difficult experiences

Whereas Psychology Today goes much deeper. They spoke with Dr. James W. Pennebaker who is a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin. He talks about how writing can be tremendous therapy for people who have experienced traumatic events.

“When people are given the opportunity to write about emotional upheavals, they often experienced improved health. They go to the doctor less. They have changes in immune function. If they are first-year college students, their grades tend to go up,” he says.

I have definitely experienced all of the bullet points listed above from Psych Central. What about you? Have you been able to keep a journal long enough to find benefit in it? Leave a comment by clicking here

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    Reblogged this on filmcamera999.

  • Sharon

    I’ve unfortunately always been really inconsistent about journaling.. despite my passion for paper and pen, as well as my current occupation (ironic, isn’t it?). I think the hardest thing for me to overcome was being ok with it being unedited and imperfect. I always wanted it to be perfect as soon as the ink hit the page.

    • http://jessversteeg.ca Jess Versteeg

      Yeah I thought that way, too, for awhile. Then I guess I got over it because no one will read them ever except me!

  • http://alexisdeluca.wordpress.com alexisdeluca

    Blogging really clears my head so I guess it’s my form of journaling….shamefully, it’s only once a week. Maybe the more comfortable I get with it….the more often I will post?

    • http://jessversteeg.ca Jess Versteeg

      I know what you mean about it being like a form of journaling! For me there are still those things that are best kept offline, you know?

  • http://alexisdeluca.wordpress.com alexisdeluca

    Blogging really clears my head so I guess it’s my form of journaling….shamefully, it’s only once a week. Maybe the more comfortable I get with it….the more often I will post?

    • http://jessversteeg.ca Jess Versteeg

      I know what you mean about it being like a form of journaling! For me there are still those things that are best kept offline, you know?