How Writing in a Journal Helps
Writing in a journal has numerous emotional health benefits. Journaling also has other mental health advantages; it is relativity cost effective, requiring only a pencil and notepad. Writing in a journal can be done just about anywhere and at any time.
When journaling, it is important to write on a consist basis and integrate it into one’s daily routine.
AphroditeWomensHealth.com identifies “self-knowledge and a better sense of identity” as the most important advantage in keeping a journal. It explains that often life presents challenges that can cause one to question who she really is. By keeping a journal, one is able to gain a sense of perspective.
The University of Worcester recommends keeping a learning journal, which is a “collection of notes, observations, thoughts and other relevant materials built-up over a period of time and usually accompanies a period of study, a placement experience or field work.” The learning journal is to help one improve the learning of a particular subject or experiment through writing and reflection.
Keeping a journal can be an important addition to therapy or working with a counselor, says SelfHelpMagazine.com. A journal “provides an opportunity to later add thoughts and explore issues that come up in or out of therapy in greater detail.” The thoughts written in a journal can also be brought up to the therapist to explore the issues further.
James Pennebaker, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, completed a study about journaling and job loss at mid-life that was presented in 2001 at the American Psychological Association annual meeting.
Pennebaker concluded that, “persons who wrote out their feelings about job loss for a period of 20 minutes a day for five days were more likely to be working again when followed up eight months later, in comparison to those who did not do the writing exercise.” This study shows that writing can rid one of anger or other negative thoughts that could be hindering a positive job search.
Scientists at the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a recent study involving 66 overweight women. During the 16-week research period, the dieters were instructed to keep a journal of everything they consumed and how often they exercised as a form of self-monitoring.
The importance of journaling was to hold the dieters accountable and have a reality check on how much calories have been consumed. The scientists concluded that journaling motivated the women to continue in their diet efforts. The research, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior in 2010, credits motivation and journaling as key factors in weight loss, Fox News reports.
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