Three Amazing Benefits of Journaling 

Grab a pen and notebook, and get ready to journal.  

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Amanda Vu

Freshman Krista Gretz started journaling regularly two years ago. Gretz likes to journal whenever she feels stressed or overwhelmed. “I can just write all my thoughts down and it clears my mind, making me feel better afterward,” Gretz said.

Amanda Vu, Opinions Editor

Journaling has been around since at least 10th century Japan, with many famous world leaders and Presidents swearing by the practice. There are countless studies that point to the numerous health benefits journaling offers, especially for those with anxiety, depression, PTSD and ADD/ADHD. In fact, regular journaling can even strengthen immune cells responsible for fighting illness, according to a study done by James Pennebaker, a psychologist at the University of Texas Austin. As English writer Virginia Woolfe said, “The habit of writing for my eye is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.”  Acting as a useful stress management tool, journaling can be incorporated in many different areas of life. Here are some more benefits of journaling.

  • Clears up Mental Clutter and Increases Clarity 

When you journal, you are able to reflect on the good and bad; you note what makes you happy and what doesn’t. The thoughts that may have cluttered the mind finally have an outlet, and you can think more clearly on things that are important to you. This can result in better decision-making and increases priority for the things you enjoy. 

  • You Get to Know Yourself Better

Journaling takes away the filter that you may put up with others and even yourself during our busy lives. As a result, you get to know the real you and after a while, can start to track patterns you see in thought and emotion. Patterns are important because they show the way you react to events in life, and how you can improve it. For example, notice how you react when you encounter a problem: do you angrily write about it? Or do you become passive-aggressive and shy away from it? Since journaling is a reflection of your true emotions and thoughts, you can better understand yourself and increase self-awareness.

  • Gain More Empathy 

Not only do you get to know yourself better, but you also get to understand others as well. Documenting others from an objective perspective can more easily put you in their shoes. One writing technique that can help ease anger and frustration towards others is to write a letter from their perspective that they would send to you. This can be an apology letter, a goodbye letter, etc. When you practice empathy and put less blame and anger on others, you become a more fulfilled and happier person.

 

Click Here for Journaling Prompts: Connell EDU Prompts

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Whether it be 10 minutes in the morning or evening, sitting down with a pen and paper can be highly beneficial in the long run. Sticking with a journaling routine maximizes productivity and allows for greater reflection from within. So, what are you waiting for? You can start anywhere, anytime. Start journaling today.