Did you keep a diary as a child? Or maybe you shared your thoughts on an early social media platform like MySpace or Tumblr?
Journaling as a practice as experienced a resurgence as health experts reveal the many physical and psychological benefits of regularly writing down your thoughts.
Here are seven ways journaling can improve your health.
- It can lower blood pressure. A study of patients with high blood pressure found that systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly after one month of regular expressive writing.
- It can help improve asthma.A 1999 trial found that writing about past stressful experiences improved the lung function of asthma patients by over 12 percent. The control group in this trial experienced no change in lung function.
- It can help you heal faster. Researchers in New Zealand found that 20 minutes of expressive writing daily helped older adults heal faster after medically necessary surgery.
- It can improve your immune system. In his book Writing to Heal, social psychologist James Pennebaker cites scientific research that indicates journaling about painful experiences can enhance the immune system.
- It can improve liver function. A 2018 study reported that journaling about stressful events 3-5 times over the course of four months could improve liver function and have other health benefits as well.
Journaling allows you to express your thoughts and feelings in a safe, private way. It can help you better understand your emotions, release pent-up tension, and think through stressful situations in a more objective way.
Even a few minutes of expressive writing every day can lead to powerful health benefits.