With everything that’s going on in the world, it might seem a little bit overwhelming right now. That’s why it’s the perfect time to start journaling if you haven’t already. With so many health benefits, psychologist Mamta Saha shares why journaling has become so popular and how to start the practice.
Journaling offers a cathartic way to deeply clean your mind by accessing all of your thoughts, feelings, views, and perspectives that can be weighing you down or that have become all-consuming. By writing them down you can start to organize what is important and what you need to let go of. You start to see things clearer than before and have an ability to self-manage – with perspective – what doesn’t enable or serve you in order to think mindfully with greater rationality.
It is great for emotional, spiritual and mental vitality. By journaling, we start to manage our stress (which impacts our vitality levels) and studies have shown that expressive writing (like journaling) for 15-20 minutes a day can build our immunity, lower our blood pressure and improve our liver functionality.
Journaling is a great way for you to track your micro-wins and subtle growth. It helps you to magnify feelings of ‘gratitude and celebration’. This can be great for our confidence and self-esteem, improving our levels of self-esteem and self-worth. When we read back, we can track significant growth and progress, the ups and the downs. We are less likely to feel a sense of imposter syndrome as we have a clear track record of the path we took to achieve what we have.
Journaling enables healing as you are able to share with no interruption and judgment. When you scribe/write/express feelings that are deeply rooted in any shame/toxicity dissipates.
With journaling, you can begin to notice patterns in your behavior that are not enabling or serving you. You can make better and more conscious choices when maneuvering through similar challenges and develop healthier relationships with yourself and others.
How to journal?
You will need a quiet space to journal, create an ambiance that works for you. Light a candle and listen to your favorite chill-out music. Take as long as you need to do it. Write a word, sentences or pages of text, worry less about it looking pretty and focus more on scribing all the things that are floating around in your head and heart. Morning and evening are a good time to practice journaling but there really is no rule book, if you feel heavy and want to lighten your load, grab your tools and notice the shift.