The Scientific Benefits of Journaling

Posted on December 10, 2021

I am an advocate of journaling. Starting in 1984, I have journaled most days with now over half of my life documented. While I enjoy reviewing my history, the reason I continue is the self-awareness, mind-clarity, resilience and positivity it brings. And the science validates this.

One study that was completed on 70 adults with various medical conditions, demonstrated a decrease in mental distress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety, with an increase in well-being.1 Another study found that writing about traumatic, stressful, or emotional events was associated with improvements in physical health, optimism, and resilience.2

If you are interested in giving it a shot here are a few things to get you started:

  1. Get yourself a quality leather-bound journal with a quality pen.
  2. Allocate just 5-10 minutes to begin with.
  3. Start with yesterday: write what happened.
  4. Then today: How am I feeling? What are my concerns and state of mind? What am I grateful for? What major outcomes do I want to achieve today?
  5. And my favourite: the "what I did well today" list.
    Most are aware of the task mountain ahead, however, we often forget about the previous mountain we've already climbed: those things ticked off our list and/or that we did well. Writing down what we HAVE completed and those things we feel good about helps provide perspective and builds positivity: an internal feedback loop.

Making a start on a blank page is often the hardest part, but after a few starter words, you're quite likely to have filled an entire page.



Related post: My Good Friend Called Journal


1 https://mental.jmir.org/2018/4/e11290/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6228869/


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