The Surprising Connection Between Journaling and Health

The Surprising Connection Between Journaling and Health

 

I am a thinker.

A non-stop, can’t-quiet-my-mind type of a thinker.

At times, I completely miss the first half of what someone says to me because I’m still caught up completing the thought my mind was currently on.

So much to do, so much to contemplate, so much to decide! So much to remember, so much to

Thinking too much to think???

Yes. Absolutely. I can’t stop. I go round and round and round and at the end of the day, my thoughts are a jumbled mess of what I need to think about again tomorrow.

Does this sound like you?

Fear not, my thinkers – there is a solution to the madness.

Step in: Journaling

Journaling is a soul-soother. Journaling expresses all of your thoughts and feelings and emotions, and plans, heartaches, every all at once. It gets it down on paper (or if you’re the electronic type like me, on the screen) and gives you the chance to express it, look it over, and release it all.

De-Clutter Your Mind

Getting everything down on a media does something for our brains – it clears it of whatever is going round and round and round. Our minds can only hold and remember so much at once. Journaling gets it all down so that your mind doesn’t have to remember it all anymore. It’s there in front of you if you ever needed it again!

journaling quote 3 by smkd 15 nov 2012

Organize Your Thoughts

Journaling allows our minds to express everything in all of its glorious complexity. Doing this however, does the opposite of putting out a garbled mess, it actually engages parts of our brains that organize it all, makes sense of it, makes conclusions from it. Awakens it to more things that you may not have even thought you were thinking! Related topics. Emotional topics. How we are feeling about how our days went. Which brings us to the next benefit…

Journaling Heals Your Feelings

Journaling is an avenue of expression that doesn’t harm others. It’s private, therefore we can say whatever we are truly feeling without hurting relationships, and getting ourselves into trouble. We can’t just bottle everything up inside – that’s harmful to us. We don’t want either one of those scenarios! So journaling is a safe expression of our thoughts and feelings – one that helps us contemplate it all, to make decisions on for later.

Journaling Helps Solve Your Problems

Documenting your every thought and feeling and events of the day helps your brain sort it out, categorize it, and relate it all. Feel down today but don’t know why? You have it all in writing. In a spectacular day? Those are usually more obvious but you have it in writing as well! Feeling stressed? How’s your week been? Not only does journaling give you the writing itself to pour over to see what the deal is, but it internally helps your brain sort it our without realizing it. It helps create awareness of what is going on, who you’re around, how people affect you, the environment affects you, how events affect you. It’s an insightful thing!

It Records Your Life!

Journalizing is also like a text-based photo album. How many memories have we lost over the course of our lifetimes, only to be remembered later when we see a photo or smell a particular smell? Then there’s that “oh yeah!!” moment! How much do we lose without something like a photo to document it?

With daily journaling, it’s easy to skim over it all and remember life events, people and  occasions. It’s especially easy with software in this era where entries can be tagged, categorized, and we can even insert pictures into it to make it complete.

   

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Comments

  1. I agree that there’s something great about emptying my thoughts into a journal or onto a piece of paper. I tend to be more reserved when it comes to being transparent with my thoughts and I have found that journaling allows me to say what I want much easier than if I were talking to someone. It’s a chance to let thoughts flow without fear of judgement or wondering what someone else thinks. Thanks for the reminder about journaling. I haven’t been doing it for awhile and your post reminds me how beneficial it can be. I think it’s time to pick up my journal and start writing again!

  2. I attempted journaling last year and it really was great to declutter. The thing I noticed in my experience was that I tended to write about my problems and it was taking a whole new life, couldn’t stop writing because of my constant workings of my brain 🙂 I think I may just start doing this again, it makes you realize the amount of things you’ve got going on at once in your mind.

  3. I used to have relentless mental chatter. It would consume me and keep me up for hours every night. I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of my issues… it was stress-related and prior to studying naturopathy I had no idea! Seemed a bit odd for a kid to be ‘stressed’ but my nervous system was obviously haywire and it took me a long time to realize that this was the root of my problem. I dabbled a bit in journaling but never set up a routine; your post has inspired me to get back into it… perhaps to gain clarity in other areas of my life!

  4. LOVED this – and really needed the reminder right now. I have fallen off my journaling habit, but this post reminded why it’s so important. I have so much running through my head that journaling is exactly what I need. It’ll probably help my sleep, as I’ve been waking in the night with too much thinking.

    One thing I wanted to mention about journaling: because my brother broke my diary lock and told people what I’d written when I was 9, I was worried when I started journaling as an adult that people would read it. I found myself writing as if they might – i.e., I was censoring, which defeats the purpose of a journal. Part of what I did to get over that was designate a ‘sweeper’ in my life. I have a friend who knows where my journals are and has a key to my place. In the event that something happens to me, he/she is authorized to take the journals and destroy them. I also put a note in the first page of every one of them to tell people that they have no business there. It allowed me to write what I needed to, as I absolutely don’t want my grandchildren reading this stuff. It’s just for me and my problem-solving, musings, and dreams.

    Thanks for this post – I just put my journal by my bed! 🙂

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