FeaturedFriday Health Corner

HEALTH BENEFITS OF JOURNALING

Charity stared at the pen and notebook in front of her. She was frustrated and didn’t want to talk to anyone. The sunlight that poured into her room wasn’t enough to brighten her heart. Why had she been in that vehicle? The past six weeks had been filled with excruciating pain. It took every ounce of willpower she had to push herself down the road to full recovery. Her friend was awesome but what was she to do with a pen and paper?
“Just write everything you are feeling. Then include three things you are grateful for.” Her friend had told her.

Charity picked the pen and literally poured her heart on the paper. The first few lines were a bit of a struggle but she eventually got the hang of it.

Journaling has been found to be very therapeutic. Many people associate journaling with writers or teenagers who keep diaries. It’s incredible how penning your thoughts can help you decompress and relax. Some people also keep prayer journals. They write down their prayers just like they would actually say it and later on they look back and see how those prayers have been answered. Whatever the content of your journal may be, keep it positive and hopeful.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a popular literary classic and it is one of the authentic records of what happened during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Who would have thought the collection of thoughts of a little girl would become a literary classic for generations?

The beautiful thing about keeping a journal is that there are no rules. There may be ways to help share your thoughts but you can write whatever and whenever you want.

Some ways Journaling can be Beneficial to your Health

1. Clears You Mind

Journaling is a great way to clear your mind. Writing your thoughts down is like talking to a friend who just listens. The paper can’t talk back but it welcomes all the emotions.

2. Let Go of Negative Thoughts

Journaling helps you let go of negative thoughts. Putting it all down on paper is a way of venting out what’s on your mind.

3. Enhances Self Awareness

Keeping a journal makes you more aware of how you are feeling at the moment. Writing how you feel can help you process what you are going through.

4. Helps Track your Progress

In a situation where you are undergoing treatment for a certain illness, keeping a journal is a great way to track your progress. Writing down how you are coping with the treatment and the progress you are making is a good way to stay motivated. You may also be starting an exercise routine, or something new in your life, a journal is a good way to keep track of your journey.

5. Reduces Stress

Keeping a journal is a good stress reliever. Writing expressively for at least five minutes every day can help reduce your blood pressure. Writing about a stressful situation will help you manage that situation in a healthy way.

6. Keeps your Memory Sharp

Journaling also helps keep your memory sharp. This exercise will boost your memory and comprehension as you recall certain things. Gathering your thoughts on paper gives a more logical perspective.

7. Boosts your mood

Writing in your journal is a good mood booster. It enhances your emotional functions and emotional health. This keeps you mindful of the present and opens your mind to a new perspective. It helps you to be expressive and in tune with your internal needs.

Quick Tips To Help You Start Journaling

1. What

What do you want to write about?
-Your goals
-What you are going through
-How your day/situation is going
-How you are currently feeling
-Your Prayers
-Things you are grateful for
-Anything that is on your mind

2. Think

Take a minute to think about what you are about to write. Start your sentences with phrases like ‘I feel’, ‘I want’, ‘I think’, ‘Today, ‘Right now’. This helps you to reflect on the present.

3. Write

Think as you write. Allow your writing to give you clarity. You are not submitting your journal for editing so just write however you want. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t be bent on spelling or other errors along the way. You don’t have to sound academic or professional. If you lose your train of thought, read over what you have written and continue.

4. Time

Time yourself. You don’t need to write for long but ensure that you put something down consistently. Write for at least 5 minutes or set a goal for yourself. You may write a page or a paragraph and gradually write more. If you feel stuck, write three random things you are grateful for. There are no rules.

When you are done, read what you have written and reflect on it. You don’t need to be a writer to keep a journal. Think of your journal as your friend and just write what is on your mind.

Do you think keeping a journal is a great idea? Are you going to start journaling? Share your thoughts. Do you keep a journal? Share how it has helped you.

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