Is journaling actually good for your mental health?

Logging. What is it and why has it become so popular? According to Merriam-Webster, journaling involves recording daily thoughts or experiences in a journal or diary; However, the art of journaling is not so simple. This leisure activity has recently expanded into various forms: bullet, workout, dream, and food diary, to name a few. With the writer speaking openly through words, journaling can be a coping mechanism for many. But the real question is: is it Actually proven beneficial for your mental health? In order to know if this is true, it is necessary to look back at the history of logging.

History of logging

It is difficult to determine the exact origin of logging, but by studying human history, regardless of country or culture, it is safe to state that people’s thoughts have been recorded since the dawn of time.

During the 1980s, many public school systems began incorporating journaling into their English lessons. Although it was primarily for documenting school work, many teachers have found the activity to have several therapeutic benefits. Since then, it has been recognized as a non-medical method of wellness and has been advertised in the growing self-care movement.

In 2013, the bullet journaling phenomenon swept the internet, which not only boosted the popularity of journaling, but also encouraged the young population to write more.

Now back to the question at hand: does journaling have any real health benefits? Sure. Journaling helps…

Reduce stress

Journaling is a process similar to ranting (a long, angry, impassioned speech) – except that it’s written down instead of spoken. By expressing any kind of emotion one may have through words, pictures, or drawings, journaling becomes less of a chore and more of a way to write down one’s troubles.

To prove it, one study showed that expressive writing (including journaling) for just 15-20 minutes a day, three to five times a week for four months, was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver function.

Additionally, keeping a journal can help to better organize one’s current thoughts or problems, which could also lead to reduced stress.

Improve immune functionality

Journaling, while hard to believe, helps boost one’s immunity and decrease one’s risk of contracting diseases. There have been several reports from avid journalists that show they have experienced improved immune systems and healthier well-being.

Sharpen the memory

If done continuously and frequently, journaling can help condition the brain and ensure that it is healthy. In addition to boosting memory and comprehension, journaling also expands the memory capacity of the brain, which can help improve cognitive processing.

Raising Spirits

Journaling is very similar to talking to a friend or family member. It’s like engaging in a conversation with another person, except with no response. Sometimes communicating with yourself and being alone with your feelings can be the only medicine needed to heal a bad day.

Strengthen emotions

Writing down particularly personal experiences or emotions helps dispel brain fog and reset your mental state. It creates a calm mood that allows you to speak with your inner self and reflect on your life. It is very important to allow time for self-reflection, especially in times of stress and tension.

At first, it’s hard. I’ll admit, it’s hard to constantly check in with yourself and write journal entries, but as a lifelong journalist myself, I highly recommend this activity. I’ve been writing since about 3rd grade, and just looking at my entries now, I can tell that I’ve evolved in so many different and unimaginable ways. I have definitely noticed positive changes in my mental health and in my confidence levels, all thanks to journaling. It’s an exceptional way to relieve stress, see growth, and unwind no matter what you’re writing about.