Increased awareness of self, calmer mindset, personal growth, this is something we all crave regardless of lifestyle, beliefs, family set up or relationship status. Well, if you can believe it, there's actually a simple way to achieve these things and more. Below are a few Health benefits of journaling, yes you have read that correctly, it says health benefits. Read on and see what I'm talking about.
Reduces stress - imagine having a place where you can rant and no-one ever has to know what you said. We all get angry or have those moments when we want to tear someone's head of and spit down their neck, but for one reason or another this just isn't possible. Maybe it's not a rant you want, maybe it's a fear that's been plaguing you or a decision that you're struggling with. Whatever it is, you can reduce the stress that this can cause to both your mental and physical health. When we get stressed our blood pressure rises and there's a multitude of other health ailments that come along with high blood pressure.
Immune System Boost - never that, I hear you say. I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. Studies have shown that people who journal or do 'expressive writing' have a higher functioning immune system. I don't need to tell you the benefits of this benefit surely.
Lifted mood - dark days are a part of life, hell for some of us, dark days turn into dark weeks and even months, but it doesn't have to be that way. Having that space where you can express you inner thoughts can actually lighten the burden these feelings place on us and lift our mood.
Sharper brain - OK, so when I became a mum to toddlers I found myself doing that famous mum thing, you know what I mean. The one where you walk into a room and completely forget what the heck you went in there for. My girl, I can't tell you how many times I have done this but journaling has significantly reduced this for me. I also don't find myself saying "huh" so much anymore and I can actually remember what day of the week it is....most of the time lol. Seriously though, journaling actually increases the size of your memory bank.
Goal Tracker - one year, some time before having my kids, I felt really down and felt like I hadn't achieved anything at all, my life was just a total washout. No man, no children, no money, what on earth was I doing. For some reason when I get this way I always feel the need to being a clean up and throw away exercise. I think it's a way of physically clearing out the clutter I'm mentally feeling. Whilst clearing out I came across a list with 5 things that I had wanted to achieve 2 years before. As I looked at the list I was taken aback by the fact that I had achieved 4 out of the 5 things on the list and the last thing that I hadn't done was because I didn't want to do it anymore. Needless to say this boosted my confidence in myself and my prospects for a better future.
So the last one may not be screaming health benefit but don't underestimate what a sense of achievement can do for the body. The release of serotonin aka feel good juices running through your body, the boost in confidence and the ability to recognise what you are capable of, can and - more often than not - will translate itself into better health.
Now, before you navigate away from this page to head to your notes page on your phone be mindful of these few suggestions:
Use pen and paper when journaling, it takes your eyes away from a screen and it provides far more stimulus for you.
Try and have a nice quiet space for yourself where you can be free from distractions and interruptions
DO NOT beat yourself up if you don't do it every day, this is a place for cathartic relaxation not another chore to guilt yourself over when it's not done.
So get to journaling ladies and reap those benefits. It is my philosophy that you are a new person every day because you will learn something new everyday, who knows who you will be in a years time or how you will feel when you look back on who you were.