Journal writing can be cathartic. The practice of writing is not only good for the mind, but it may also actually have physical health benefits. Journal writing can strengthen people’s immune systems, lower depression, and ease anxiety. To keep a journal means there is a space to hold a person’s deepest thoughts, desires, and dreams. Sometimes people like to go back and re-read old journals to see where they were in a certain time of their life. Big events like marriage, having kids or losing a loved one can create a memorialization of that time period through writing. In this way, it promotes healing from traumatic experiences.
Why Writing is Healing
Writing helps people access parts of their brain that are not always used when typing on a computer or talking to friends. The left hemisphere of the brain lights up when people write. Writing removes mental blocks and allows individuals to use their brainpower to analyze their inner and outer worlds. Putting pen to paper is harder for some than others. Learn how to use the power of journal writing to share your thoughts and get positive, healing energy flowing.
Use the Pen Instead
Everyone seems to have a keyboard, smartphone, or tablet. In today’s modern world, everything is a touch screen and instant gratification. Hand-writing thoughts in a journal are more effective than writing on a laptop. Research supports the fact that writing stimulates an area of the brain that filters information. Cursive writing used to be taught in schools but gave way to tablet use in grades as early as preschool. Getting comfortable with a pen might take time, but it will be worth doing.
Don’t let yourself be bound by too many limits, but start with some boundaries upfront. A page limit often gives people something to strive for. If you struggle to fill white space, try setting a page or time limit. See what works best for you and make an effort to achieve a little bit of writing each day. A good way to get started is with 30-day writing challenges.
Keep it Private
Unless you are working with a private therapist, you likely are keeping the journal lying around the house. It is important to keep it private and secure for only your eyes. Find a safe spot to store it and make it secure enough nobody else can find it. This is not the space to feel judgment from others. Expressive writing is just for you.
The health benefits of writing are important. When someone has experienced trauma, past hurt, pain, or suffering, it is especially important to encourage writing down whatever comes to mind. It can be cathartic to write out the challenges you faced and also how you overcame them. Some people like to write about their faith, prayers, meditations, or other spiritually-based exercises as a way of processing. Other people like to write about future hopes, dreams, and goals or start penning a book. Whatever you decide, just get started. Work with a therapist, a coach, or a writing group who can encourage you to just simply write where you are, freely, without judgment.
Diehl-Whittaker Funeral Service is Columbus’ oldest African-American family-owned and operated mortuary. We understand family needs at one of the most difficult times of their lives. We help you put the pieces together and find a way to honor your loved one’s memory. Call us to find out how we can help you have the best experience possible while memorializing your loved one. Contact us: (614) 258-9549