That journaling for even 5 minutes a day can help your mental health.
Here at GouldWood Meadows, we supply everyone with a journal – this journal is yours to personalize and use however you’d like.
Want to journal with nature in the woods and with horses? Want to paint a beautiful painting? Want to doodle? Being able to jot down how you feel can help lessen the pain and tension that is built up. Journaling is a way of letting go.
Remember journaling doesn't have to be giant entries. You can just jot down how you feel. Bullet points. Poems. You name it. Just make sure to write it all down. Don't leave anything out. Let that pen release everything that you have bottled up inside and watch the magic happen.
Studies have shown that the benefits of Journaling
Whether you’re dealing with stress from school, burnout from work, an illness, or anxiety, journaling can help in many ways:
It can reduce your anxiety. Journaling about your feelings is linked to decreased mental distress. In a study, researchers found that those with various medical conditions and anxiety who wrote online for 15 minutes three days a week over a 12-week period had increased feelings of well-being and fewer depressive symptoms after one month. Their mental well-being continued to improve during the 12 weeks of journaling.
It helps with brooding. Writing about an emotional event can help you break away from the nonstop cycle of obsessively thinking and brooding over what happened — but the timing matters. Some studies show that writing about a traumatic event immediately after it happens may actually make you feel worse.
It creates awareness. Writing down your feelings about a difficult situation can help you understand it better. The act of putting an experience into words and structure allows you to form new perceptions about events.
It regulates emotions. Brain scans of people who wrote about their feelings showed that they were able to control their emotions better than those who wrote about a neutral experience. This study also found that writing about feelings in an abstract way was more calming than writing vividly.
It encourages opening up. Writing privately about a stressful event could encourage some to reach out for social support. This can help with emotional healing.
It can speed up physical healing. Journaling may also have an impact on physical health. A study on 49 adults in New Zealand found that those who wrote for 20 minutes about their feelings on upsetting events healed faster after a biopsy than those who wrote about daily activities. Similarly, college students who wrote about stressful events were less likely to get sick compared to those who wrote about neutral topics like their room.
Smyth JM, Johnson JA, Auer BJ, Lehman E, Talamo G, Sciamanna CN. Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Ment Health. 2018 Dec 10;5(4):e11290. doi: 10.2196/11290. PMID: 30530460; PMCID: PMC6305886.