Why Journaling as a Practice is the Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

Fill your paper, with the breathings of your heart’- William Wordsworth.

I had made a new pal over the last few years. She’s resilient against stress, cheap, accommodating, trusting, and takes my nasties all the time. She’s ready to be my punching bag, therapist, friend, and priest all rolled in one. She has no judgment or opinion and accepts me as I am, the good, bad, and ugly- and that, friends, is my Penzu app. The first time I heard about it, I knew I reached kingdom come. It is an online diary journal with dates and is free for the most part. In Penzu, I write my deepest darkest thoughts and feelings, which I cannot acknowledge to myself. The ones I am afraid to feel or think. So yes, it is a journal of sorts.

So, what is Journaling?

Mina Muray describes Journaling as ‘whispering to oneself and listening at the same time.’ In simple terms, it is merely writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. But my definition of Journaling is the download of emotional overwhelm in its rawest, most original form- the one which is stuck in your body and waiting to come out. It is senseless, all over the place, but needs to come out because within all the junk comes out is a hidden gem.

I believe that when we feel all over the place, there’s nothing like having a journal by our side.

What are the benefits of Journaling?

  1. It helps you healthily express yourself when you are overwhelmed. So when you are triggered, which we most often are these days, ranting about our feelings in a journal helps. After the nasties come out, it offers a sense of calm, is therapeutic, and helps you get clarity. It, in turn, enables you to express yourself clearly.
  2. It helps you rationalize your fears, thoughts, and concerns. In a state of fear like the pandemic, it is essential to have a safe place to express your innate worries so that they don’t take their toll on the body. When you can put feelings into paper, it allows your higher brain to rationalize and take control.
  3. It keeps you in the driver’s seat -With daily practice, it can help you remain calm and not get triggered by more minor issues. With time you can also identify what triggers you, observe yourself, and take preventive action.
  4.  It can help you streamline your thoughts, get to the bottom of what you think, and observe this later. 
  5.  It helps interpersonal relationships and betters communication.
  6. It offers you a safe place to vent out your feelings.
  7. It helps you identify what you want.

The University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular Journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes. Other research indicates that it decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, acting as a stress management tool, thus reducing these stressors’ impact on your physical health.

So how can you get started?

  1. Do not complicate it: Writing with lesser ‘rules’ are more effective. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense or has grammatical errors. Let the page be your canvas, give your writing hand complete control and download everything from your system. It is the safest detox method, hurts no-one, acts as a sieve, and distills all the unnecessary information.
  2. Investigate your trigger: There are different methods of Journaling. The easiest one is the emotional dump method, which means you just let your feelings guide you. Start with whatever triggers you externally and let it guide you till you get clarity.
  3. Let it be a friend on demand -You don’t need to keep a schedule; just let it flow when required. 
  4. Find your preference -physical or online -Many people prefer writing in physical diaries. Many online ones are password-protected; some have apps that have easy access on the phone.
  5. Get the kids involved: It is never too young to start. You can even encourage kids to pen down big feelings. They’ve got even fancy online ones for children to allow kids to enjoy the benefits.
  6. Moving on to more evolved Journaling: Once you have got into the habit of Journaling, you can move on to more evolved journaling like gratitude journaling, dream journaling, etc., all of which have numerous benefits.

The famous Anne Frank said, ‘I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.’  So if you want a cheap, efficient, reliable, and proven method to calm yourself, why not give Journaling a try. It is the best gift you can give yourself.

A little about me:

Lana likes to inspire people to live life on their terms, by beating fear, doing the things they love, and becoming the highest version of themselves. She is the founder of The return of the Lion Queen where she gives life to her ambition of making people believe in themselves. Besides blogging, she is a mum, a Finance Professional, and a book lover. If you would like to make Self-care a part of your life style, opt in to get you free Self-care 101, the starter guide

To know more about Lana, you can visit her at her website:https://www.thereturnofthelionqueen.com

You are also invited to follow Lana on social media – Facebook, Instagram


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