Journaling has been known to clear the mind for as long as humans could write...
In 2001, the American Psychological Association published a study where they found expressive writing improved working memory test scores in college students. This was a major hint towards a cognitive mechanism that links writing to health.
Researchers have since found that expressive writing reduces intrusive and avoidant thoughts about negative events and improves working memory. This then frees up cognitive resources for other mental activities such as the ability to cope with stress.
There are many mental health benefits to journaling. These include:
INCREASED SELF AWARENESS
INCREASED SELF-WORTH AND ESTEEM
FEWER DEPRESSIVE EPISODES
There are also suprising physical benefits too:
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
AND SHOULDER TENSION
IMPROVED IMMUNE SYSTEM
IMPROVED WOUND HEALING
IMPROVED SLEEP QUALITY
DECREASED BURN OUT
DECREASED PANIC ATTACKS
A word from the wise:
"The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus … boosts long-term memory, illuminates patterns, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition."
-Neurologist Judy Willis
The reason journaling might be a great way to either supplement your mental health care or manage acute symptoms is because face to face interventions introduce barriers that are unique to individuals.
For example: accessibility, cost, systemic racism, bias, previous medical trauma, privacy concerns, and more.
We believe that therapy should be for everyone but the reality is, it is not. This leads to people, especially those in marginalized communities most affected by the barriers mentioned above, receiving NO care.And therapeutic journaling has been scientifically proven to be just as effective as in person cognitive-behavioral therapy.The key for any mental health tool is consistency. Finding what works for you can help you stay consistent and reach your mental health goals.