The surprising value of journal writing
For too long, the benefits of journal writing have been lost behind stereotypes of girls with pink fluffy pens, scribbling “Dear Diary” under covers by torchlight. But journaling doesn’t have to only be for teenagers who doodle love hearts around their crush’s name. Journaling actually has many health and wellbeing benefits that you can take advantage of too.
For instance, journaling has been found to boost your mood, sharpen your memory, help you better regulate your emotions and reduce symptoms of serious mental health conditions, like depression, intrusive thoughts and PTSD. Journaling can even strengthen your immune function! Yep. As crazy as it sounds, the process of journal writing can literally boost your immune cells, reduce your risk of contracting disease and even speed up the physical healing process.
Journal writing is also incredibly valuable for psychological support and recovery. Writing expressively as part of your daily routine can help you identify behavioural patterns, recognise triggers and hold yourself accountable for your actions. Thus, journaling improves your confidence and self-trust, encourages you to look at life from a fresh perspective and strengthens your sense of self.
To kickstart your journaling, we’ve knocked together some writing prompts to get your words flowing:
- What are five things that make you smile?
- Write a letter to your younger self with things you wish you knew back then
- What is a compliment someone gave you once that you’ve never forgotten?
- Describe your happy place.
- When is the last time you really laughed? Like knee-slapping, gut-wrenching, ugly-snorting laughed?
- What are the five things you like most about your personality?
- Who is your favourite fictional character and why?
- Make a list of ten songs that make you feel peaceful
- If you could change just one thing in the world, what would it be?
- Describe your favourite memory.
- What is your greatest achievement?
- What do you most want to achieve in life?
- What is your favourite physical trait?
- How can you better practice self-care?
- What makes you feel safe?
- If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?
- What is something good that happened today?
- Who is the person you love the most?
- Where are five countries you would like to travel to?
- Describe a lazy Sunday.
- What small victories have you had this week?
- What is something kind you have done for someone recently?
- List ideas for how you could put goodness out into the world.
- What is something you can forgive yourself for?
- What are you grateful for?
So, there you have it. Incorporating journal writing into your daily routine is a sure fire way to make positive change to your health and wellbeing. But remember to be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all, and developing new habits is a lengthy process that requires time and consistency. Make a start with a TEA+ Do It planner and discover the true value of journaling for yourself.