The Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is writing therapy as it relates to writing your thoughts and feelings down without self-restraint, censorship or concern about grammar. All you need is a pencil and paper and get writing about anything, anytime.

Once you’ve written something and given your thoughts a chance to flow, you can read it back, share it in a counseling session or with a loved one, close the book and never read it, or even tear it up. The writing itself is what offers the emotional release and it’s about expressing your interior point of view rather than the exterior one. This can help you to achieve greater clarity about concerns, conflicts and confusions, which in turn helps relieve inner tensions.

This expressive therapy was formalised in the 1960s by New York-based Dr Ira Progoff. He found that his clients reported long term benefits to their physical and psychological wellbeing, achieved greater self- awareness, developed a better understanding of life issues and could cope with them more positively. Journalling also positively impacted on their moods and relationships.

Twenty years later, a researcher, Dr James Pennebaker from Texas conducted studies and reported evidence that when people wrote about emotional difficulties for 20 minutes a time over three of four days, their immune system was enhanced.

While there are several techniques to this journaling,the ideal place to be is in a positive environment where you won’t be disturbed. Get comfy and allow whatever comes up to flow through the writing. After you’re done, do something enjoyable to associate the writing with a positive event. So why not give journaling a go!