The Benefits of Journaling

In most of the courses offered here at Millersville, writing is almost always an important component of the class. Whether it be an English course or not, students are usually expected to write a paper, essay, or discussion post on a semi-frequent basis. Associating writing with these academic assignments can deter one from wanting to write for fun, as it has now become work rather than an activity. Although there are many options to channel writing in a more creative way, one of my favorites is journaling. Journaling comes in a variety of forms, and can be as personal or as organizational as you would like it to be.

There are many mental health benefits to journaling, which can be helpful to cope with the stress that comes with the end of the semester. It has been scientifically proven that journaling can reduce anxiety with continued use. Along with this benefit, it can also help with awareness, regulation of emotions, and encourages one to open up, which can help with emotional healing.

Now that you know the benefits to journaling, here are a few tips on how to get started. The first is to keep it simple- try journaling for a few minutes each day, and add on more time if you enjoy it. Pick a day or time in the week that works best for you, such as right before you go to sleep. The most important tip for journaling is that there is no set structure or rules. Do whatever you want to express yourself, write as much or as little you like, and customize your journal to fit your needs.

There are many different types of journaling that you could try to see which is the best fit for you. One of the most popular is reflective journaling, which is what probably comes to mind when you think about this type of writing. This type allows your journal to become a private place to reflect on your life and process emotions and experiences. Reflective journaling can seem overwhelming when you have a lot to write about, so it may be helpful to find some online prompts to help guide your journey. However, if you want a space where you can freely transfer the thoughts in your mind onto the page, stream of consciousness journaling may be a better option for you. If you’re looking for a more organized approach, bullet journaling is a great option. Using a grid pattern rather than a blank page as base, bullet journaling uses creative and organized layouts that combine several uses of journaling is a systematic way. It can be used as a daily dairy, a calendar, mood tracker, task manager, and place to reflect all at the same time. Having a specific intention for your journaling is something that is gaining in popularity, as seen in the rise of gratitude journaling. This type of journaling allows for a space to document everything you are grateful for, which is a great place to go back to when you are feeling down.

There are many more types of journaling other than the few I have highlighted here. If this blog piqued any interest for you, I encourage you to try as many as you like to find the best fit for you!