Hello, Psych2goers! Do you have a habit of writing? What types of writing do you enjoy? Here are 7 benefits of writing or journaling that you may resonate with. Let’s dive in!
1. Confront the challenge
It doesn’t matter if the challenge is big or small. Sometimes, they potentially impact our mood throughout the day. By writing out the problems that you face whether at work or at school, you can eventually learn how to problem solve by coming up with solutions as you write. That way, you can plan how to confront the problem and reduce the stress you may face (University of Rochester Medical Center, n.d.).
2. Maintain wellbeing
Talking about stress, journaling can give us a chance to self-talk. For example, after identifying the negative events or emotions, you can think about your reactions and jot them down in your notes. You can treat this activity as a way for personal relaxation since only you are able to see the content and reflect on them (University of Rochester Medical Center, n.d.).
3. Feel confident
Building onto the previous point, journaling can help you to understand yourself better, such as expressing your mood and thoughts with no boundaries and being creative. Self-talks, keeping the content in order and including time management in your journal can likely increase your confidence over time (University of Rochester Medical Center, n.d.). In fact, you’ll also see how much you have transformed and grown as you look back to your journal one day (The Huffington Post, 2017).
4. Pursue goals
You can write anything in your journal, including your goals! By following the SMART index, which represents specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, your journal is a useful tool to follow your goals. Thoughts like, “Did I follow the steps?” or “Did I give up on your goals due to some reason?” can be recorded in the journal to keep track of your personal achievements and success (University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, 2021).
5. Improve skills
As you write, you also read the sentence aloud in your head. Recording events in the journal can build a bridge between writing and talking. With the consistent habit of writing your thoughts down and organizing proper sentences in your head, you can eventually develop better results in writing or even communication skills (University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, 2021).
6. Take a break
Most of us spend a lot of time on multiple social media platforms. As we see many influencers creating videos and posts, we may have the tendency to compare ourselves to their seemingly perfect lifestyle. If you want to take a break from the internet, writing a journal is a great alternative to disconnect and pay attention to yourself (The Huffington Post, 2017).
7. Use words to express feelings
Another benefit consists of the process of transferring your feelings into words, it is known as “affect labelling”, which refers to a method of emotion regulation. A study explored this topic by separating people into 2 groups, one has non-emotional writing and the other has expressive writing of negative events. They concluded that there are more improvements in life satisfaction, reduction in depression and anxiety in the span of 3 months of the expressive writing group (Memarian et al., 2017).
What’s your thought on writing and journaling now? Will you start this new habit in 2022 if you haven’t done so? Leave us a comment below!
Memarian, N., Torre, J. B., Haltom, K. E., Stanton, A. L., & Lieberman, M. D. (2017). Neural activity during affect labeling predicts expressive writing effects on well-being: GLM and SVM approaches. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 12(9), 1437–1447. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsx084
The Huffington Post. (2017, April 4). 5 ways a journal can help with self-care. HuffPost. Retrieved January 19, 2022, from https://www.huffpost.com/archive/ca/entry/self-care-journal_n_15811336
University of Rochester Medical Center. (n.d.). Journaling for mental health. Journaling for Mental Health – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. (2021, January 5). 10 ways journaling benefits students. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Retrieved January 17, 2022, from https://www.usa.edu/blog/ways-journaling-benefits-students/