Expressive writing has long been used as a preventative tool to wellness it has positive and healing effects on an individuals’ physical and mental health. For writing to be therapeutic, participants must be willing to write openly about their thoughts, emotions and experiences. This allows them to bear witness to their story, reflect on their experiences and explore their thoughts and emotions.
Twenty plus years of research have found that expressive writing…
- Increases the immune system’s functioning
- Reduces stress levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Normalizes sleep and eating habits
- Reduces symptoms of a chronic illness
- Improves one’s memory
- Decreases feelings of anxiety, anger and depression
Writing in a journal is a powerful means for personal growth, self-discovery, life management and creative expression. The Journal to the Self®workshop transforms the traditional journal into a genuine, unique method that offers cost-effective, holistic self-discovery and becomes an ongoing trusted companion and guide.
Multiple studies have found that writing, in the form of story or an expression of emotions (expressive writing), is healing for various conditions and diseases. The act of writing is stress-reducing and translating the emotions, memories, and images into words changes the way the brain understands, and analyzes information. This allows healing to begin. Dr. James Pennebaker found that a group who wrote for only 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days increased their immunity for six weeks!
Psychologists, counselors and support-group facilitators understand the power of journaling as an adjunct to therapy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, grief, PTSD, anorexia, cancers, smoking cessation, substance abuse as well as many other disorders.
- “Writing to Heal” by James Pennebaker, author (howtohateyourcigarettes.wordpress.com)
- Improving Emotional Health Strategies and Tips for Good Mental Health (mylittleblackpen.wordpress.com)
- Benefits of Expressive Writing (outofpocketemotions.com)
People who write Journals can benefit several different ways. Discover the writer within you. Journal writing is an inexpensive way to achieve personal growth. “If you’ve told yourself for years that you can’t write give yourself one more chance. When you replace a ‘performance’ expectation with a ‘enjoyment’ expectation you’re likely to surprise yourself at how much better you like what you write.”
Journal to the Self techniques help journal writers expand their horizons and flush out the valuable content in their minds. It is a wonderful way to access content for life stories, or keep a record of how your life unfolds. “There is something magical about going back into your life and observing it from the vantage point of a month, a year, or ten years later.” Your journal will chronicle your dreams, your hopes, your ambitions, your sorrows, your fears, your serendipities, and your growth. Many business people keep a business journal to document their business peaks and slump times. They use this information when sales fall off, they refer back to their journal to see what they did before when sales were low.
People also use journals to take advantage of a valuable tool in the therapeutic process. When Kathleen Adams conducted a study in 1987 on writing journals as a therapeutic tool, Adams found that 93 percent of respondents said that their journals were valuable tools for self-therapy. They were able to talk to themselves on paper and work through problems. Eighty-seven percent of responses described their relationship with their journals as friendly or therapeutic. Confidant, companion, sounding board, and friend were specific words used to describe their journals. Other words described the qualities of the journals as: close, intimate, trusting, honest, caring, and nonjudgmental.
You can use your journal to heal relationships. Your journal can provide a safe place to vent your thoughts and feelings that can not be expressed directly. This can help discharge your emotions and leave you sane enough for the real conversation to take place later. “If you’re haunted by what Elizabeth Kubler-Ross calls ‘Unfinished business,’ with someone who is no longer available to you, (through death, abandonment, or simply moving on), your journal can help you sort through the conflict and pain.”
Use your journal to explore your creativity. Your journal is a canvas for creative expression and imagination, you can write a poem, doodle a short story, or paint a picture with words. You can also use your journal to track the cycles, patterns, and trends of your life.
Journal writing can also help reduce stress and therefore minimize health risks and reduce health issues or eliminate them all together.
- Journal Your Way to Stress Relief (everydayhealth.com)
- What Is Journal Writing? (dadan2015.wordpress.com)
- Wednesday Workshop! (idhbic.com)
- Journaling Journey – Prescription to Write becomes Surprising Gift (hofholistichealingcenters.com)
- Creative Writing Journal (gabrielletheauthoress.wordpress.com)