Benefits of Journaling and 30 Days of Writing Prompts
For me, journal writing is a very therapeutic outlet, especially during times when I am particularly stressed or anxious. Journaling helps me to release all of my thoughts onto paper and reflect over what I am thinking. It gives me a way to move forward, away from my worries.
I wish I could say I wrote more in my journal when I was happy and content with life, but it’s more frequently the case that I write when I’m upset, anxious, or stressed. That’s not a bad thing though. Journaling is a great and healthy technique for dealing with stress.
But journaling does more than that.
Writing in a journal has so many physiological and mental health benefits, but there are five that I want to focus on:
- Reduce stress (if that wasn’t clear already)
- Boosts your mood
- Keeps your memory sharp
- Strengthens emotional function
- Improves your immune functions...awesome, right?
How does journal writing reduce stress?
This might not be the case for every individual, but for me personally, I just feel lighter after releasing my thoughts and concerns in my journal.
Journaling can be a form of meditation to help you relax and put your mind at ease. As you do this you can feel the physical tension release from your body.
Because stress can have so many negative impacts on your physical health, finding ways to reduce stress can help you live a longer and healthier life. Hence, journaling equals longevity? I suppose for some it might.
What causes journaling to boost your mood?
Writing about your feelings can help you better overcome heavy emotions that you are feeling, thus, boosting your mood. Much like it helps to lower stress, journaling helps you to release your emotions and find an outlet for them, rather than trying to control them and keep it all locked deep inside.
Write what you are feeling in a journal and reflect on the ways that you can change those feelings and be happier.
How does journaling help keep your memory sharp?
Similar to taking notes in classes, webinars, or work meetings, writing things down in a journal can help enhance your memory. The act of writing can help you to remember what you were learning or feeling in the moment as well as help enhance your brain function over the long term. Consider it an exercise for your brain.
How does journal writing strengthen emotional function?
Journal writing is often a very emotional experience. Most people who journal aren’t writing just to write, they have a purpose, a profound experience, or some strong emotion they are feeling as they write.
When writing like this, you become more mindful as you reflect on how you are feeling. This allows you the opportunity to release your emotions and helps your brain to better regulate your emotions. Again, this is a similar result to meditation. The more you do it, the easier it will be to control your emotions.
What effects does journal writing have on immune function?
First, think about the immense role that stress can play in the function of your immune system. People who constantly feel stress get sick more frequently than those who manage their stress well.
Second, journal writing has proven to help fight specific diseases like asthma, AIDS, and even cancer.
I’m not trying to convince you to write in a journal, but if you were ever looking for a reason to, that would definitely help.
I, personally, love writing in my journal. But, as I mentioned, I’m not very good about writing in my journal on a regular basis. I usually write when I am feeling down or stressed. So I might not get all of these benefits that journal writing can bring.
If you are looking to see increased benefits in your life from journal writing, try to write for at least 15-20 minutes 3-5 times each week. Consistency and repetition is key.
If you’re not sure what to write about, I’ve got you covered for the next 30 days.
30 days of journal writing prompts
- Write down three things that you are grateful for.
- Write about one thing that you are looking forward to today, this week, or this year.
- Write about someone who inspires you.
- Write down a health goal that you have for yourself and why it’s important to you.
- Write a dream that you’d like to accomplish in the next year.
- Come up with three new things that you want to try and write them in your journal.
- Do something kind for someone today and write about how it made you feel.
- Write about your favorite thing to do. Why do you enjoy it?
- Write three things that make you happy.
- Come up with a goal for daily self-care and write down what you will do to make that happen.
- Write down three ways that you can de-stress after a long day.
- Reflect on a time when you were sad or upset and write about what made you feel better.
- Write down a goal for self-improvement in any area of your life and how you will achieve that goal.
- Look out your window for a few minutes and write about what you saw.
- Describe your favorite food in detail. Why is it your favorite?
- Write about someone close to you that you haven’t talked to in a while. If you ran into them today, what would you say?
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Write down what a day in your life would be like with that superpower.
- What’s something that you’ve always wanted to have? Write about what it would be like. If it’s an achievable goal, make a plan to get it.
- If you could have any job in the world, what would you be? Write about why you would like that job.
- Write about a time when someone made your day. Who was it? What did they do? Why did that have an impact on you?
- What is a place that you’ve always wanted to travel to? Write about why you want to go there and what you would do if you went.
- Reflect on a fond childhood memory. Write down everything you can remember. Who was there? What were you doing? What did you feel?
- Write a letter to your past self. This can be about anything: where you are now, helpful advice, what the future holds.
- Write about something you did in the last week so you can reflect on it in the future.
- Write about something important to you. This could be a personal item, a pet, a person, anything.
- What are three things that you don’t want to live without? Write about them.
- If you could meet any celebrity or public figure, who would you meet and why? Write about what you would do or say if you met them.
- Write down a list of things that you used to think you’d never be able to do that you can do now. (For example, as a young teenager I never thought I’d be able to drive...I’m a great driver now by the way.)
- What’s the most ridiculous thing that you’ve ever done? Write about that experience. Were you embarrassed? Would you change a thing?
- Write about the person that you want to become. What changes do you want to make in your life? Or are you happy with the person you are becoming and striving to be?