World Mental Health Day: Journaling for your mental wellness
Everyone is so occupied and aligned with technology that we have entirely lost our touch with pen and paper. As we are growing older the gap between the usage of mobile notes and writing things down on paper has grown wider.
As the global pandemic has taken a mental and emotional toll on each one of us, we have started to take our physical and mental health more into consideration. Most of us have looked inwards instead of outwards as we were forced to spend time with ourselves.
It was good to see how people turned inwards to find serenity, strength, and peace.
More awareness and light were shed on mental health, why it’s important, and what are the ways people can live a life with lesser stress. Many people were seen taking up arts and related activities to pursue their creative interests (including writing, singing, playing an instrument, drawing, and painting) far more seriously than they had ever done before leveraging colours, pens, paper, and stationery. In the same way, day-to-day journaling has remained one of the main elements that support people through tough and testing times.
Marking the occasion of Mental Health Day on October 10, the importance of putting pen to paper, particularly through journaling, is important to an individual’s well-being.
Here are five key benefits of journaling your thoughts and feelings:
* Keep your stress and anxiety at a bay: When we write down our deep and actual feelings and actions, we become aware of them. Otherwise, we often tend to spend our days, and weeks unknowing doing things that are unnecessary and consume lots of our time and energy. Keeping a journal often helps us put our everyday activities, how we have felt in order and reduce the chaos of everyday life. It’s like emotional management. Journaling not only helps us relive memories and experiences, but provides us with a platform to get to know ourselves better and reveal our deepest fears, passion points, thoughts, and feelings. This all helps us remain balanced, focused, and controlled. Journaling is like talking to a best friend but better as it digs deep into our souls. To make journaling more enjoyable, invest in colourful stationery to lift your mood, and get your creative juices going.
* Awareness brings learning and experiences: It is scientifically proven that writing using pen and paper helps retain information better than when using mobile phones or tablets. Writing down affirmations, achievements, and learnings helps us take in information, and learn from the past. It also helps look at experiences through different approaches to ensure that we make better and informed decisions.
* Improves mood and enhances sleep: Generations, including millennials and Gen Z, work very differently from previous groups. They have shorter attention spans and store bits and pieces of information. Their minds resemble a computer with various open tabs, which makes shutting their brain down challenging. Journaling encourages people to let things out, keeping them sane and uplifted and making a good night’s sleep possible. Colour coding a journal enhances the experience even further as it would help process and get a deeper understanding of feelings.
* Boosts creativity: As it’s your personal diary, there is no factor of any judgment, you have your way to go. Journaling sets your brain free as it provides us with an opportunity to doodle, draw, write, illustrate, and colour in a personal space without any judgment. Journaling allows people to explore uncharted thoughts and emotions. Writing gets thoughts out and clears the mind for fresh ideas, helping our minds wander and dream — all the while recharging its creative cells.
* Helps build a stronger immune system and a higher IQ: Several studies around the world show that regular journaling leads to sound sleep, a stronger immune system, and eventually a higher IQ. James W. Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, who is considered the pioneer of writing therapy, said, “Labelling emotions and acknowledging traumatic events have a known positive effect on people. When we do that, our working memory improves, since our brains are freed from the enormously taxing job of processing that experience, and we sleep better, indeed improving our immune system.” According to research published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, ‘paper is more advanced and useful compared to electronic documents because paper contains more one-of-a-kind information for stronger memory recall’.
Why not utilize this day of Mental Health Day to motivate you to keep a journal and kick off a new habit that would benefit you mentally positively and stimulate your brain in a way that digital communication or social media doesn’t. It’s an old saying that the power of writing is powerful and unmatched — continue to express yourself in an impactful manner to ensure a better and healthy you.