5 Benefits of Journaling
5 Benefits of Journaling
Journaling is the act of writing about your experiences, thoughts and feelings. I like to call it a more “mature” diary. It is a snapshot of you and your journey. Because of this, it is important to avoid only writing about your challenges or unpleasant experiences. Many people often associate journaling with negative experiences but it should not be that way. I always encourage my clients to use this tool in their healing and personal growth journeys. Many of them have shared the significant benefits of journaling they have experienced. Here are 5 benefits of journaling I hope will encourage you to use this tool.
Relief / Catharsis
Most of us replay things that happened to us over and over again. We also imagine things that have not happened a lot. We have thoughts and feelings that overwhelme us and take up a lot of brain space and power. The term catharsis refers to a release of built up unpleasant emotions like anger, fear, sadness, frustration, resentment, etc. Journaling your thoughts and feelings can help take reduce the emotional energy that builds up within us. Many people who journal report that, doing so helps them feel lighter when there’s a lot going on in their heads. This is one of the main benefits of journaling and why therapists recommend it so much.
Your journal is your personal communication space. Ideally, it is meant for only you. This means that you can express yourself in it how ever feels comfortable for you. You can write in the form of poetry, letters or songs or even address different versions of yourself, write to your god, write to people you may not be able to communicate with in the moment. You can use whatever language you comfortable with. And guess what?! You can even draw! There is no correct or wrong way to journal, as long as you are expressing your self in a genuine way. You can also write in it as often as you choose, once a week, once a day, multiple times a day, etc.
Good for reflection and processing
This is also one of the main benefits of journaling that therapists like at lot. I am a firm believer that many of the fact that the answers we’re looking for lie within us. So when we take the time to have open honest communication with ourselves, some of those answers come out. Journaling helps us to understand ourselves much better. This is because we pause and reflect while we’re writing and processing our feelings and experience. Regardless of whether these experiences are positive, negative, healthy, unhealthy, pleasant or unpleasant, this benefit still exists.
Your journal is something that you can access quite easily. It’s either always in your bag, in your room, or on an app in your phone. Because of this, it is a highly recommended tool by therapists. It is literally the cost of a book or a download on your phone. In fact, your notes app can be used to journal. I’m more old school and prefer an actual book so that, I’m free from phone distractions when I write. But for some people, using a digital journal is best. It is also safer if you have nosy people around because you can lock the note.
Good source of information & records
Because you write in your journal about life experiences, challenges, goals, disappointments, achievements, etc., your journal has a lot of valuable information for you. You can look back at previous entries to remind yourself how far you’ve come, to see patterns in your life, to note if specific times tigger specific experiences, and so on. Sometimes it’s hard to see the progress we’re making in life but reading our journal can be a great way to encourage ourselves to keep going. You can also use it while in therapy to do homework given to us by our therapist.
Author: Petrina S. Adusei