A study done by the Psychology lab at University of Texas at Austin discovered that there is an extremely simple way to simultaneously improve your physical and emotional health. Some of you may already partake in this hobby, and others of you might seriously want to consider taking it up. Journaling.
According to James Pennebaker, a researcher at UT, journaling can really help you keep your health. Apparently, writing in a journal regularly strengthens T-lymphocytes, aka immune cells. Pennebaker explains the logic behind this; confronting stressful thoughts or situations by writing about them reduces the effect that said stressors would otherwise have on your health. He also noted that it can lessen symptoms that stem from asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Not bad, eh?
Okay, so perhaps this info alone isn’t enough to motivate you to start keeping a journal. But when you couple it with Pennebaker’s findings that prove how journaling improves your emotional health as well, it’s kind of hard to ignore. When you physically write, you’re using the left side of your brain, which is analytical and based on reason. When this part of your brain is busy, as it is while journaling, the right side of your brain, which is the creative and feelings-based part, opens up, freeing your mind of mental blocks and ready to better understand yourself.
And the best part? Journaling is easy! Anyone can do it. I suggest writing for a predetermined amount of time before going to sleep each night, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to start. Pennebaker also found that health benefits are found most often in people who use many positive words in their journals, and a moderate number of negative words. So, while it is tempting to just vent about all of the frustrating things around you, and that should be done to an extent of course, try to also focus on exciting and happy things that have happened to you recently.
And, if you’re a non-believer in this study, there are still many undeniable benefits to journaling. Being able to look back at what you wrote five years from now can provide quite the entertainment.
Lovelies, do any of you keep a journal? How has it impacted your life? If not, is this information enough to convince you to start?