THE BLOG

Journaling: The Healing Power of Writing

The most important thing about journaling is that you use it to reflect on events and look honestly at yourself. Journaling makes a difference when you use it as a tool to solve problems and identify strengths. It's much less effective when it is nothing more than a list of frustration or roadblocks.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Could you spare 10-20 minutes a day to improve your happiness and health?

Writing down your thoughts can be a powerful tool for solving problems, relieving stress and improving your outlook. Daily journaling -- either on paper or a computer screen -- has the power to make a real difference in your life. Whether you pull out a pen and a notebook or use the A Plan For Living app, taking time each day to write puts you in greater control of your thoughts and feelings.

Writing with a purpose

Daily journaling can help you work through the problems in your life and sort out your reactions to events. By writing every day, you begin to consider options and puzzle out solutions. Writing can be soothing too, providing you with an outlet for frustrations and difficult emotions. The power of journaling may be that it helps you make meaning of situations. People who use writing to make sense of traumatic events seem to get more benefit than people who simply report what happened.

However, it also seems that focusing on the positive in your journal has benefits too. A number of studies have shown that writing about your gratitude in your journal rather than focusing on frustrations can improve your health and your sense of well-being and even boost immunity.

Writing for recovery

Journaling can be an important tool for overcoming addiction too. Writing about cravings can help make sense of them and give you the strength to resist. Reflecting on your life, finding meaning, and setting intentions can all be part of journaling and can help you live more positively.

The most important thing about journaling is that you use it to reflect on events and look honestly at yourself. Journaling makes a difference when you use it as a tool to solve problems and identify strengths. It's much less effective when it is nothing more than a list of frustration or roadblocks.

The second most important thing is that you make journaling a regular habit. Start with a few minutes a day if you're intimidated by writing. Don't worry about whether your writing is perfect either. Your journal is for your eyes only; it's a place where you can talk honestly to yourself with no judgment and no inhibitions.