Journaling: an activity that’s simple yet powerful. When done regularly, journaling can have a number of benefits – and these include improvements to both mental and physical health.
Of course, there’s no single reason why a person wants to keep a journal. For example, some choose to maintain a travel journal while others do journaling to write down the highlights of their day. There may be different forces that push a person to keep a journal, but what’s clear is that this activity is helpful when used as an outlet to create and manage various aspects of life.
Journaling transcends age, careers, and social status. In fact, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, and Leonardo da Vinci have all kept a journal or diary during their lifetimes in order to record their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Da Vinci even used illustrations to express his emotions and ideas. Da Vinci’s journals — which historians and art enthusiasts refer to as “notebooks” – are so intriguing and exciting, so much so that billionaire Bill Gates churned out more than 30 million dollars at an auction just to own it.
There may be misconceptions that journaling is old-fashioned, given that social media and the internet pretty much controls the day-to-day lives of people. But that can be easily debunked because writing using an actual pen can and never become outdated. There remains to be joy in physically jotting down your expressions and memories in your diary, notebook, or journal.
But there’s more to journaling than that. If you struggle with stress, anxiety, or even depression, keeping a journal can be a big help for you to cope, especially when you are a content creator who is more prone to these risks. (Related: Content Creators and Depression: A New Pandemic?)
Benefits of Journaling
It’s been scientifically proven that journaling is a beneficial self-care practice. And in the long term, there are a number of gains that you can get from putting that pen to your paper. Allow us to walk you through some of those benefits.
1. Journaling Reduces Stress
If you are a content creator, there’s a big chance that anxiety would just creep in because you are suddenly reminded of the deadlines you have to beat. You may also be stressed because you cannot find the ideal content strategy you want for the video or post you want to work on next. Well, stress can be damaging to physical, mental, and emotional health. Science can prove that.
Now, journaling can be a stress buster. It can also reduce overall levels of depression. A 2006 study found that writing in a journal can be as effective as therapy when it comes to reducing the risk of depression among young adults.
As we have mentioned, stress can physically affect one’s health. Journaling can be of help. A study has shown that expressive writing, such as journaling for just 15 to 20 minutes a day over the course of four months was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality.
Finally, journaling is therapeutic. It has been found that people who wrote about their traumatic, stressful, or emotional events in their lives have been less likely to get sick – and ultimately, were less seriously affected by trauma. Also, writing about stressful experiences can help you manage those experiences in a healthy way.
2. Journaling Boosts Immune Functions
This may come off as a surprise, but yes, journaling can keep you physically healthy. This can be helpful for content creators who are always on the go.
A study published by the Cambridge University Press found that people who write in their journal for 20 minutes per day on at least three to five occasions have exhibited fewer stress-related visits to the doctor as well as improved immune system functioning. They’ve also shown reduced blood pressure and improved lung and liver functions. There’s also lessened symptoms of asthma and arthritis. And believe it or not, journaling has also been reported to combat certain diseases and help wounds heal faster.
So, content creators, you may want to take note of this particular benefit as you go along in your content creation journey.
3. Journaling Improves Emotional Wellbeing
Again, the benefits of the simple act of journaling can be long-term, according to various studies. In the emotional aspect, journaling provides a sense of self-identity and a greater sense of confidence.
It also helps people from managing changes and personal adversities and can emphasize important patterns and growth in life. Expressive writing, like journaling, can help individuals develop adaptive and structured views and schemes about themselves and the world in general.
It has also been shown that journaling can help a person recover more quickly from past trauma. Writing down things allows a person to process things and see the good side even when it’s difficult. Journaling allows a person to directly confront the things or trauma they have experienced, instead of dodging or avoiding them.
4. Journaling Keeps You Alert
More often than not, content creators have to deal with 1000 things at the same time. Sometimes, there’s just too much on a creator’s plate — to the point that they forget important information.
Worry not because journaling can be of help. The act of writing keeps one’s brain in tip-top shape. Physical pen-and-paper writing is effective in activating the region of the brain that filters and focuses information. This means that journaling does not only boost memory and comprehension; it also increases working memory capacity.
In fact, neurologist Judy Willis, in a science blog, has this to say: “The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information… it promotes the brain’s attentive focus …[and] boosts long-term memory.”
Remember that when you journal, you are both recording and processing the events of a particular time period. And when you are in that moment, you get to retain the memories for a relatively longer amount of time.
5. Journaling Boosts Your Mood
There are days that content creators simply feel down or unmotivated. Journaling can drive those blues away.
Journaling can help improve one’s mood and give a greater sense of happiness and stable emotional state. A finding of a study by the University of California Los Angeles showed that keeping a diary, writing poetry, or jotting down song lyrics can help people get over emotional distress.
How to Start Journaling
Now that we’ve laid down the benefits of journaling, you can put this all into practice. It’s understandable that you may find it difficult to start – much less keep – a journal, because who’s using pen and paper in the time of the internet and social media, right? So to address this issue, try to get used to pen and paper again. Take some time away from the keyboard and screen — and go grab that pen and paper!
Now, if you’ve completely abandoned the traditional medium of writing on paper, go utilize your gadgets. There are so many journaling apps available on the internet.
As to how long you should be journaling, it’s okay to take just a few minutes. If you have tons of thoughts, then it’s also good to extend your journaling a little bit longer. There’s no time limit! What’s important is that you can set a reasonable amount of time. The goal here is to allow you to make journaling a habit.
We hope that these helpful tips will guide you in your journey toward keeping and maintaining that journal. Happy writing!
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