Want to change your life? Learn this one habit – journal! Master the awesome healing power of journaling with Make You Smile Back’s guidance. Made You Smile Back is so excited to present this trending subject that has captured both the world and the internet by storm!
Journaling is so much more than putting ‘pen to paper’! Did you know that there are awesome healing powers of journaling as well? Made You Smile Back is not only going to explain in-depth what exactly journaling is but also the powerful health benefits one receives by engaging in this daily exercise.
We will then spend some time looking into a couple of scientific studies showing the powerful healing side of journaling as well. We shall learn how journaling can help therapeutically heal and help us ‘cope’ with depression, anxiety and stress.
In addition, we shall explore how one can heal through journaling even in cases of loss or grief.
Of course, if you’re new to journaling, it shall be important to learn how you can get started. Made You Smile Back will share with you a special blog link to a great article from Poovanesh Pather of ‘Family, Growth and Life’ which shall walk you easily through the process.
To wrap up this article, Made You Smile Back is super excited to share with its readers the launching of a new and unique type of journal, ‘The Ultimate Happiness Journal’, a 90 Day Journal designed for you to change your life with this one daily habit to achieve ultimate happiness! Full details and information will be shared to all. You won’t want to miss out on this! It’s truly one-of-a-kind.
So who needs to change their life or learn how to heal from depression, anxiety or stress? Let’s begin, shall we…
Today one can go to the internet and google the word ‘journal’ and there are so many different types of journals available. There are ‘dream journals’, ‘workout journals’, bullet journals (we’ll get into this in a moment…), ‘food journals’, ‘travel journals’, ‘gratitude journals’ and the list goes on and on. All with the goal in mind of tracking our progress and thoughts in doing-so. Why all the fuss?
Simply stated, they work. And not only that, it’s one of the cheapest self-care habits one can learn easily. All it takes is just a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil!
Journaling has been proven to provide positive well-being and significant health benefits including therapeutic healing from mental health issues as well as loss and grief.
So for those of you who think ‘journaling’ is something trivial and don’t feel as if it’s for you, think again! Would it surprise you to know that throughout our history, great men and women have been known for keeping a journal?
Journaling (or keeping letters or diaries) is an ancient tradition, one that dates back to at least 10th century Japan. As stated earlier, successful people and visionaries throughout history have kept journals. These include the likes of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, Maya Angelou and Nicola Tesla, to name just a few.
No one can argue the extraordinary contributions to humanity each has done. And they all relied on the one ‘powerful and awesome habit known as journaling’ whose unique insights and perspectives on the world around them have resonated for generations.
Before we go in-depth with the many life-changing benefits that journaling provides, let’s pause and take time out to view this important YouTube® Video on Practical Psychology’s view on journaling.
Lena Schmidt of The Chopra Center, states: “Writing down your thoughts, dreams, feelings, and ideas is a healthy and beneficial practice for overall wellness. Writing helps get to the heart of the matter by getting whatever you’re dealing with off your mind and onto the page. Writing about the pain of heartbreak, the confusing feelings that arise after an argument, or the mess of your life after a big transition helps make those feelings real. “
Here are some of the more important life-changing benefits that I myself have found to be true:
Benefits are not just derived from journaling in of itself. Did you know that there are even significant health benefits to the act of ‘writing’ itself? Let’s take a look…
Maud Percell, LCSW, who penned the article “The Health Benefits of Journaling, states: There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being. “
In fact, James Pennebaker, psychologist and researcher from the University of Texas at Austin argues that by engaging in regular journaling, it strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes.
Other research indicates that journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker also believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, acting as a stress management tool, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.
In another scientific research program from the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling was determined to be a healthy outlet and a positive coping mechanism for helping people face overwhelming emotions. Likewise, journaling also has been proven that it has far-reaching healing benefits in regards to mental health as well.
Here are five ‘mental health’ benefits that the University of Rochester Medical Center reports:
One of the most significant healing powers that journaling provides is for those following the loss of a loved one.
If you are on a healing journey through loss, grief, addiction, or are genuinely interested in personal growth, expressive writing is a beneficial beginning toward improving your emotional well-being.
I know earlier we mentioned some of the journaling benefits in regards to depression, anxiety and stress. By keeping a special therapy journal dedicated to assisting you on your therapeutic healing journey, you can increase awareness and insight.
When faced with a particularly emotional or challenging situation, journal writing can also be used as a tool for stress management to reset or de-stress following these type of situations.
Want to stop negative thoughts from crowding your mind? It’s been found that writing can also be used to interrupt the negative thought patterns and help ‘rewire’ the brain to find helpful solutions. According to the Center for Journal Therapy, an education and training center whose mission is “to make the healing art and science of journal writing accessible to all who desire self-directed change,” journaling is a healthy therapeutic tool for healing, growth, and change.
Let’s find out what their therapy journal training center suggests and offers to their client journalers.
First and foremost, there are simply ‘no rules’ when it comes to journaling. It truly is just ‘pen and paper’ and the possibilities are endless. Some people use ‘journal prompts’ to help them get started. But all you need to do is just sit quietly and let your creative juices flow through you.
You will find that through time and practicing putting your ‘private thoughts’ on paper, that it will become easier for you.
Here are some of the more popular ‘journal prompts’ taken from The Chopra Center which you can use to help you in your initial journal writing routine:
It’s fairly easy to start a journaling practice. Set a specific time to journal and stick to it. Many find early morning or just before bed to be good times. Start by writing about the events of your day. But, do try to explore your feelings about all that you did. Over time, you will learn more about yourself than you ever did before. This will allow you to set simple goals to create a life that satisfies you totally.
A journal is a powerful tool to use to cope with anxiety. It’s a safe place free of censure to record your thoughts and feelings about issues you are anxious about. A simple way to reach a solution to a problem is to ask ‘WHY’ after a statement. This encourages you to reflect on the reasons for your fearfulness. It also steers you towards finding the help or support you need to solve the problem.
Writing every day in a journal is a great way to relieve stress. But if an issue is too overwhelming, journaling about it allows you to:
* Stop overthinking
* Reduce brooding
* Ask for help and support
There are many other non-traditional ways to journal. This post suggests alternate ways to journal. You could keep a:
* voice note journal on your cell phone
* photo journal documenting your life in pictures
* doodle journal just using a sketchpad
Yes, journaling most definitely shall help you reach your goals. First, list your quarterly or annual goals. Then break them up into daily, weekly, and monthly action steps. So, your daily journaling would involve assessing the steps you took towards your goals. This is a constructive way to set and reach your goals successfully.
Special Acknowledgement to Poovanesh Pather, Contributing Writer for FAQ.
To help you get started if you’re brand new to journaling, Poovanesh Pather, the Author of ‘Family, Growth & Life’ provides a detailed and in-depth article with steps on what to do. Her blog entitled: “How to Start a Journal: A Life-changing Beginner’s Guide” will help you begin your personal journey the right way, but your way!
Made You Smile Back is pleased to announce the launching of this very unique and special journal to its readers, ‘The Ultimate Happiness Journal’.
‘The Ultimate Happiness Journal’ is a unique and one-of-a-kind journal in learning to have the best life you deserve to be living.
90 days is a perfect length of time to reap a new habit, a lifestyle change or an attitude shift towards daily happiness. Live your most intentional life. Set meaningful goals. Determine your happiest moments, determine how grateful you are and journal your daily’s greatest achievements.
Journaling is my thing and I have three different journals. Do you use multiple journals?
This is so true. Writing really is therapeutic. I did not realize how much so until recently. Thanks for the ideas!
Adriane, thanks for your kind comments. Yes writing is indeed very therapeutic.
I love journaling. This year, I’m trying a bullet journal this year.
Yes, I’m curious about taking a closer look at bullet journals. Thanks for your comment.
I love journaling because it’s so therapeutic and as you said, there are no rules! It’s whatever works for you and the benefits can be massive. Great article!
Wow. What an inspiring story! I love this story about journaling. It’s refreshing.
Jeremy, thanks for your commebts ?
This by far one of the best blog posts I have ever read regarding journaling. I knew journaling had so many benefits, as I use to write a lot, but didn’t realize they were so immense. Incredible. Thank you for sharing. This definitely inspires me to write more.
Sarah, thanks so much for your kinds words. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my blog regarding the amazing therapeutic benefits of journaling. What kind of journals do you write in?
I enjoyed reading your post. I love to journal, especially gratitude journaling.
Camille, thank you for your comments. Yes journaling is a definite benefit to our well-being.
I agree 100% journaling is amazing for the mind! You have created an amazing journal!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about journaling,
Kayla, thank you so much for your kind comments. I love journaling as well!
Your journal is so thoughtful and beautifully done. What a wonderful journal you have made. I love journaling. It really helps me figure out and work out all the things I need. Yours is the first i have seen for creating mindful happiness. Awesome job Beth!!!
Elizabeth, thanks so much for your kind comments concerning journaling. I used to always keep a ‘diary’ when I was a young teenage girl, but now, journaling is such a trend and it indeed helps with anxiety and other health benefits including simply, feeling a sense of joy! Many blessings.
Journaling and making lists is such a big part of my life. It helps with my anxiety.
JK Bloom, thank you for your comments. Yes I so agree with you about journaling has a way of reducing anxiety. There’s something about the physical aspect of ‘writing’.
I have been journaling my whole lifeand I think I will always love putting pen to paper. My favorite journal is my Grateful Journal!
Judy, thank you for your comments. I also love my gratitude journal.
This is a wonderful post detailing the benefits of journaling. I’ve been keeping a journal for several years, but I don’t write as often as I’d like. I actually read some of my old entries from years ago and it was satisfying to realize that I made some of my dreams happen. I didn’t remember that I had written them down. It’s helpful to see how far I’ve come. Thank you for sharing this post about the power of journaling.
Darcey, thanks for your kind comments regarding the healing powers of journaling. Years ago I kept a ‘diary’ but I like today’s journals and their various prompts to help us reflect better on our day. Many blessings.
I’ve been journaling for a few years and often say it is the one thing I wish I had started sooner. It really is a way to heal yourself and work through any problems. I tried an online journal but found writing by hand more relaxing and therapeutic. As I started journaling with a gratitude journal and felt the benefits, I often give a journal as a gift. Liking the look of the 90 day journal.
Angie, thanks so much for your insights on journaling. I agree. Writing with actual pen to paper has double therapuetic benefits over online journaling all day long. If you do get The Ultimate Happiness Journal, I would love to get your critique. Many blessings.
I love journaling, especially gratitude journaling. I enjoyed reading your post. I knew about benefits of writing for mental health but your post opened my eyes also to its impact for physical well-being. Thank you!
Joanna, thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, in doing research for this particular blog about the awesome healing powers of journaling, I was enlightened myself with the other benefits one receives. Many blessings to you.
I always journaled over years but I fail to make it constant. However I never stop writing in one way or another things get down to paper. I love to go through old journals and see my thoughts on topics but I love it more when I can trace the evolution of ideas or projects and how I felt along the way. I gain insights as I write and when I go back too.
A really nice habit to hone
Barbara, thanks so much for commenting on my blog of ‘The Awesome Healing Power of Journaling’. I agree, I may not be ‘habitually’ journalling every single day, but there is definite benefit when ‘writing things down on paper’ and seeing the results. Thanks for sharing.
Journaling can for sure make you feel better and help your psyche out. I don’t journal that much or enough but even just doing a little bit of journaling when I reflect upon my day in my planner causes me to be able to focus on what my goals are again and feel better about things I’ve accomplished. I didn’t know about the benefits of writing itself though. That’s interesting.
Virginia, thanks for commenting on my blog on the awesome healing power of journaling. Yes, even the simple act of writing and what I have found, the content of which I am writing, does have impact on our psyche. Many blessings.
I’m new to journaling. But for the past month, I have been quite consistent. Already, I have found that there are areas in my life that I have totally neglected and I have now created a plan to address them. The act of penning your thoughts and feelings definitely shows you the way to improve your life. Thank you Beth for referencing my journaling post in this post. If anything, journaling enforces mindfulness. You have to take the time to write. Then you instinctively reflect on your day and analyze your actions. The urge to do better the next day is sown.
So, if you start a journaling practice, you can only win by improving your life one day at a time. Great post Beth.
Poovanesh, I always welcome your wise words and comments. Its truly a pleasure to reference your work. Many blessings.
Thanks for sharing such a useful post. Keep doing good work. Much Love <3
Manahil, thanks for our kind words. Many blessings.
I was just reading today that hand written journaling releases chemicals in the brain that are similar to what would happen while meditating. So I totally understand how journaling can have healing and coping powers.
Megan, thank you for commenting. I appreciate you sharing this insight with us. I know that writing itself causes you to also retain the information much better than spoken. Who knew! Thanks again!
That’s so interesting! I never expected that even though I love journaling and I know it makes me feel good.
This post has reminded me about why I have loved to journal in the past. Now I want to get back to it! Thank you!
Julie, with the new year just around the corner, coming back to journaling is so perfect for you! Thank you for your comment.
Writing things out is always so cathartic for me! I can clear my brain and move on to other things once I “get it all out”!
Kari, thanks for your comments. Yes writing our feelings is so healthy for our wellbeing.
I have just started journaling and I really enjoyed reading this post. Keep Going!!!
Sadiq, thank you for our positive comments about journaling.
I thoroughly enjoyed this post, I am new to journalling, I have recently started a gratitude journal. However, all my life, whenever I have faced truly difficult situations or a lot of stress I have always found it beneficial to just sit down and write it out, so I can see how journaling can be very therapeutic and I have been feeling overall more positive since I have started my gratitude journal.
Rachel, thank you so much for your kind comments. More than anything else, I definitely believe in the therapeutic benefit that journaling allows.
In a world of digital social media one can easily get caught up in texting and typing online but journaling is one of the last sacred arts of expressing one’s self. By writing it on paper and the ability to re-read is significantly life-changing and rewarding for those who engage on a regular basis.