Why everyone should journal

Why everyone should journal

Ever heard of people saying there’s something almost magical, healing about transferring feelings & thoughts onto paper?  Now there is evidence to back that up. Studies have proven how journaling is an effective way of stress relief and is also a great tool for self-reflection.

Apart from the mental benefits, journaling helps the body thus:

  • Reduces elevated blood pressure.
  • Decreases cholesterol levels.
  • Relieves stress.
  • Helpful while going through a breakup.
  • Helps assess one’s stressful life.

As a coping mechanism, it is best done at least thrice a week for about 15-20 minutes where you pour out both the good and the bad. To start, all you really need is a pen and book and a quiet environment.

While you don’t have to stick to any patterns oof writing and free styling may be the easiest, here are some styles if you’re looking for inspiration:

1.The Buzan Style: Developed by Tony Buzan (1983), this style involves placing your thought or experiences to the left of the page, drawing a circle labelled ‘I feel’ at the centre and drawing links between the thoughts/experiences and to the right-your feelings towards them-as shown below.

For example, you may place a thought like ‘got ghosted again’ linking it to the I Feel circle & branch out lines from it to show your feelings like ‘sad, ‘validated but kinda relieved’, etc.

2.The proprioceptive method: The focus of this style is heightened self-awareness. Developed by Linda Metcalf, she suggests writing down thoughts you have followed by ‘What do I mean by _____ that thought)?’ This is to be done several times a week for exactly 25 minutes.

3.A dream journal: It is believed that recurring dreams have meanings and insights that need to be addressed to discover deeper issues. Carl Jung opined that understanding your dream’s symbolism could help deal with stress.

Dream Researchers suggest these tips to help remember your dreams:

  • Before bed, write down the day’s events & your feelings about them.
  • As you slowly fall asleep, affirm that you want to remember your dreams.
  • On waking, with your eyes still closed, try to recall your dreams.
  • Keep your journal handy so you can record your dreams as soon as you wake up.
  • Dream thoughts/fragments can come to you at any time of the day. Make sure to write them down.

4.Unsent letters: We all have heavy emotions be it from broken relationships or death of a loved one. For this style, write your entries as letters where you can fully express your anger, grief, etc. Let it all out and it will act as a huge emotional catharsis.


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