So many of us are constantly busy. We want to lead fulfilled lives and so we bombard our schedules, completely filling them to the max. While juggling all those responsibilities and commitments, do you remember to dedicate time towards caring for your own mental health? Perhaps you would benefit from considering the health benefits of journal writing.
Journaling and Mental Health
According to research published in the Journal of Biofeedback, investing daily to write a mere three to five pages in a journal is able to provide many benefits over a prolonged span of time! Journaling enhances critical thinking and problem solving skills. It requires reflection that can connect theory to practical experiences in order to supplement learning and support both personal development and professional growth. Engaging in self-analysis can also help you to gain perspective on other people. Daily journaling will strengthen your self-awareness and creativity, as well as, reduce stress and improve both health and well-being.
Journaling can also be a helpful activity for those who have been impacted by an emotional or traumatic experience. According to research from the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, expressive writing helps individuals reappraise their experiences in order to reduce their associated emotional arousal and change their internalized meanings. You can benefit from dedicating twenty minutes a day over a four-month period to expressively write about your experiences. This activity is reported to result in a decrease in intrusive thoughts, symptoms of depression, and fewer visits to the doctor. It is also reported to provide improvements in immune functioning, an increase in working memory and academic achievement. Benefits to interpersonal relationships and work situations are also noted in the research findings!
If that long list of health and wellness benefits has piqued your interest, here are some tips to get started. Firstly, you should find yourself tools that you look forwards to using daily. Pick out a journal and pen that helps you to express yourself. I found my inspiration at Paper-Oh and CHARALS.
Paper-Oh creates noteworthy journals with distinct character. Detail oriented, their products feature an array of lay-flat, durable bindings, handy magnetic closures, and a handy back storage pouch. They have a modern selection of cover colours and patterns in addition to a selection of shimmering materials. Their products definitely possess a designer feel. Opus Art Store has many locations in the Lower Mainland that offer student discounts but my favourite is on Granville Island amidst all the artisan shops and the irresistible Market.
If you do not envision picking up a ball point pen at the end of a long day as a motivator to write, then you may be interested in considering the use of a traditional fountain pen. CHARALS, who is a purveyor of luxury goods and accessories, has recently relocated to the Robson Street shopping mecca and offers quality writing utensils within a wide range of styles and prices.
Once you have the tools, all you will need next is to set aside some daily journaling time. Help to motivate yourself by making your journaling environment inviting and an experience that you look forwards to. You may consider pairing your journaling time with coffee at your favourite café, or planning to journal on your favourite bench in the park surrounded by nature. If you plan to write at home, set up a relaxing space with blankets and tea where you can easily light some candles and de-stress while you write.
Choose to make time for self-care – your mental health and wellness matters!