Journal writing is more than just documenting experiences, daily planning or expressing ideas and thoughts through writing – it’s actually an effective tool to improve one’s emotional, mental and physical health.
Some of you may think that journals and diaries are just for young adults, but actually the’re not. If you are wondering how a pen and a paper can transform your health, various studies have shown that journal writing helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression and its physical impact on the body.
So in today’s article, let me share with you some of my favorite ways on how you can use a journal to improve your overall health.
A food journal is your best friend if you want to start eating healthier. It isn’t simply recording what, where and when you eat, but also how you feel before and after every meal, snack or drink. This way, you will be able to become aware of your eating habits and make better food choices.
Just like a food journal, a fitness journal is essential in one’s healthy regimen. Here, you can record all your workouts and other physical activities, plan future exercises and track your progress. If you are on a weight loss journey, a fitness journal is definitely a must have.
When you sleep better, you feel better. If you are one who struggles with slumber every single night, starting a sleep diary may be a good idea. No, it’s not just simply logging in the time you went to bed and got up. You need to document how long it took you to fall asleep, the times you woke up in the middle of the night, what your last activity was before you went to bed, what your physical activities were for that day and your intake of caffeine, alcohol, meds, etc. Documenting these details in your diary will help you find the inconsistencies in your routine and potential problems that you can improve and work on.
Keeping a journal of any chronic illness (e.g., diabetes) can help you manage your condition, and keep track of things that affect it. A symptom diary can include daily glucose results and blood pressure, and can be used to record anything from headaches to abdominal pain, cough or allergy triggers.
Use a journal to build stronger immune system.
If there’s Vitamin C, there’s also Vitamin J. A study done in the University of Auckland in New Zealand showed a group of HIV-positive patients having increased CD4 lymphocyte counts after writing about their painful life experiences. This is just one of the many studies that have shown how writing about emotions can help you heal faster and improve your physical health.
Keep a journal to combat anxiety and depression.
Along with the right medical treatment, a journal is a beneficial tool for an individual who is suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. Journaling about traumatic events, fears and other negative emotions can help one to process them fully and release it through writing. By being able to free up the mind and the heart, anxiety and depression become more manageable.
Organize your life for better mental health.
Stress is one of the factors that can trigger physical and mental helath conditions. That is why keeping a daily planner is highly recommended as it keeps everything in your life organized, thus reducing a lot of stress. The lack of chaos in your mind will help you become more calm, less tensed and stress-free.