Journaling, Memory

The Many Cognitive Benefits of Journaling

By Dan
October 26, 2022

 

Why is keeping a journal so beneficial?

Journaling improves a person's general quality of life and mental and physical health. Not only that, you’ll eternally have a record of your life that you can always look back on and never feel judged for expressing yourself. 

If you’re new to journaling, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we'll look at five science-backed advantages of journaling. Let’s dive in!

Journaling Eases Anxiety 

Many people struggle with anxiety. If you’re one of them, take up journaling! Keeping a journal is a good stress management strategy. After all, emotion-focused writing is connected with lower mental discomfort and greater well-being.  

In a study with 70 people with high anxiety levels, writing online for 12 weeks dramatically lessened their mental anguish. In addition, patients, families, and medical staff from a children’s hospital reported feeling less stressed after performing the following journaling exercise:

  • Writing three things they are grateful for

  • Writing the story of their life in six words

  • Writing three wishes they had

Go ahead - try that exercise for yourself!

Journaling Helps with Past Trauma 

When a loved one has passed away, keeping a journal may help you grieve healthily. You have the privacy to work through your feelings and maintain some form of communication with your loved one. 

Journaling can aid in reducing the psychological anguish we experience in response to trauma. For example, people who journaled for 15 minutes each day reported feeling less depressed, anxious, or hostile

Even those who struggle with severe illnesses benefit from journaling! Those with post-traumatic stress disorder engaging in expressive writing exercises experienced their moods significantly improving and their stress hormone reactions to painful memories decreasing.  

Journaling Decreases Depression 

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of; globally, 5% of adults suffer from depression. However, the natural remedy of journaling helps ease depression. Journaling can be as helpful as cognitive-behavioral therapy in lowering the risk of depression in young people. 

Did you know that when people with severe depressive illnesses wrote for 20 minutes each day for three days about their most intense thoughts and feelings related to an emotional experience, their depression ratings significantly decreased?

In addition, students who journaled about their most intense emotions the month before a major exam experienced fewer depressive symptoms since they didn't focus as much on intrusive thoughts. 

Journaling Increases Gratitude 

Listing your blessings has become more popular over the past several years. But there’s truth to it! Journaling encourages thankfulness - of all things! 

In one study, journaling weekly was linked to more pronounced increases in general optimism

Try a Gratitude Journal! Every night, set aside five minutes to jot down the three things you are most thankful for. They don't need anything big or significant; they can be as simple as the rain on your windowsill or your favorite cup of coffee. 

Journaling Sharpens Your Memory 

Is there a particular event you don’t want to forget? Such as hiking through the Himalayas, that Sunday picnic, or a family reunion? Your first kiss? 

Keeping a journal helps enhance your working memory. 

In one study, first-year college students who wrote down their thoughts and feelings had less intrusive and avoidant thoughts during the day, which allowed more space for remembering. Similarly, college-bound teenagers who wrote in-depth about their feelings and ideas regarding college showed improved short-term memory and academic performance

When you journal, those precious memories never have to fade; you can relive them over and over

Journal on My Stories Matter 

Start the journal you've always wanted! 

You can create a virtual backup of your essential work so that you may view, modify, and download it whenever you choose and group your journal entries into Collections.

Unlike other social media apps, your private journal entries are only visible to you. However, you can also choose to share specific entries with friends.

Sign up for free and begin journaling today! 

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