Many of us cope with our problems and stresses in a million different ways. It could be through going out with family, hanging out with friends, going window shopping, staying in touch with nature, practicing meditation, etc. It is all about pouring our time into something we love and making the most out of it, especially whenever we feel too weak for anything else.
And when you feel too burnt out to run to your usual coping strategy, do you know that as simple as journaling has proven effects on mental health as well as on one's physical well-being? Your journal may sometimes look just like an aesthetic and hardbound version of an ordinary notebook, BUT as stated in an article by Empowering Education, researcher and psychologist James Pennebaker found that journaling and writing about past stressful events can help individuals work through the experience and reduces the impact of the stressors on ones’ physical health. Simply put, journaling may be one of your new go-to stress-less things!
Between managing your time at work, home, and/or school, journaling is one of the simplest and most effective way to destress and make you feel better. Not to mention that just like taking a photo, writing means you have something to look back on in the future.
Here are more reasons why it may be time for you to get yourself a good journal:
It helps clarify your thoughts
As you write down your personal thoughts, feelings, and insights, you can have a clearer understanding of why you feel the way you do. When things feel like a tied knot in your brain, you can start asking yourself questions and develop a new point of view of your situation. It externalizes your state inside and organizes your thoughts, which helps you further reflect.
It assists in problem-solving
Since you get a hold and understanding of how you feel, it guides you to make a critical analysis of your options. Journaling broadens your thinking as you gain valuable self-knowledge and identify patterns that lead you to where you are. In addition, writing out your feelings help you work through your emotions and allows you to look at the situation objectively. You understand the pros and cons of the angles and take accountability for the consequences.
It lets you pour out your emotions
Keeping your thoughts and feelings bottled up makes you feel heavy and stressed, which is why journaling is a great tool to pour out. You can dump negative emotional energy that weighs you down and diffuse its weight.
Since journaling can be used in various ways, you also have a choice to be creative. For example, you can draw, sketch, doodle, write poetry or song, create a list, or just plain write! There is no wrong way to do it as long as you are intentional in what you do.
It gives you purpose
Regardless of how you choose to journal or which technique you go for, consistently journaling gives you something productive to look forward to. By doing so, you can see your self-growth and feel good about how far you have come, which increases your desire to do more.
When you start tracking your growth and laying out your plans, it becomes easier to act on them and achieve the goals you set for yourself. It is also less likely for you to fall into old habits as you recognize the patterns and reflect on them.
It makes you feel connected to yourself
Journaling creates a safe space for you to be honest with yourself and be vulnerable. In a world that is somehow difficult to show how you truly feel, your journal can be a place to unmask and unload your problems. This act of being real with how you feel and who you are is essential if you are looking not just to improve yourself but also to develop habits that will help you best cope with your situation.
By providing time for journaling, you get to reflect and ease your heavy emotions. In the process, you will also be better at self-awareness and self-management and may explore new skills that will help you move forward throughout life with a more peaceful mind.
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