Did you know journaling is an ancient practice? It’s true. Journaling has been a staple in the lives of great men and women for thousands of years. Ancient Roman emperors and philosophers such as Marcus Aurelius and Seneca had journaling habits; the great innovators of the 20th century, such as Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, also kept journals.
And what’s more, Science has also proven the validity of journaling! Numerous studies have been published detailing the many health benefits of this simple practice. But at this point, you may wonder what some of those benefits are. Keep reading to find out.
1. Mental Strength
According to Greater Good Magazine, a website dedicated to publishing science-based insights, journaling can make you tougher mentally. When challenging times arise, they can cause frustration and mental distress. But the simple act of writing your thoughts down prevents these mental wars from waging in your mind.
Journaling takes your anxiety-riddled thoughts and discharges them to your page, creating mental resiliency. As a result, you’ll become better able to cope with difficult situations without resorting to negative behaviours or habits.
2. Physical and Emotional Health
A 2018 study conducted by the Cambridge University Press concluded that journaling could improve your overall well-being. For example, researchers learned that writing about devastating experiences benefits your physical and psychological health. In fact, many therapists now recommend this practice for emotional self-care. The study followed a group of students who wrote for four straight days for only 15 minutes.
The students detailed their most devastating experiences; deepest thoughts; sensitive feelings, etc. Conversely, another group of students was asked to journal about surface-level subjects (their shoes, living space, etc.) The group that bore their deepest emotions experienced substantial improvements in their mental and physical well-being!
In less than four months of writing, health center visits and sick days were reduced. The publications are clear: Expressive writing can be a therapeutic agent for people.
3. Deepened Gratitude
Keeping a gratitude journal can profoundly impact your life. The reason is simple: You get what you focus on—always. So by channelling your appreciation via journaling every night, you are conditioning your mind to focus on gratitude. A 2016 study gathered 293 participants. They were classified into 3 groups; each group had different writing assignments.
However, the group that benefited most was the one engaged in gratitude writing. After one month of gratitude journaling, the participants experienced an improvement in mental health and a reduction in depression.
Next Step: Start a Journaling Habit Today
Journaling is one of the best habits you can adopt. It can make you more resilient, self-aware, and generally happier. However, if you’re like most people, chances are you find it difficult to incorporate new habits into your life. If so, grab a copy of my ebook. In it, I share a simple system to help you develop better, healthier habits.