Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. The Kind Friend co-founder Deeps De Silva tells us why journaling can help you on your wellness journey.
We’re all living in a new normal (thanks, Covid) and this means managing new opportunities and problems. Building a journaling habit can help you explore how to deal with your emotions so you feel more balanced in life. The beauty of journaling is how open it is when you put pen to paper. Not convinced? Here are five life-changing benefits of journaling.
Why journaling can change your life
1. It helps you stay present through mindfulness
The act of writing on a piece of paper allows you to be focused and present in the moment. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of everything happening around you at that specific point in time. Journaling guides you to a present state of mind. It brings a mind full of thoughts under control by getting emotions down on paper.
Visualise thoughts streaming from your mind to the paper, let it all flow and don’t feel inhibited through the process. Addressing your thoughts in a journal is a different way of thinking about them in your mind. I’ve spoken to start-up founders who use meditation and journaling together as tools for mindfulness. It’s a wonderful combination!
2. It reduces stress
Stress manifests in various forms, affecting our health in many ways. It can impact our sleep and how we interact with others. It’s also been called the health epidemic of the 21st century by the World Health Organization.
Journaling reduces stress and builds emotional agility. Journaling about your stress helps you understand how you’re feeling so you can develop strategies to cope. I’ve been introduced to a single mother who used her journal to pen down her experience of going through numerous Covid tests while caring for her children. Journaling provided her with the outlet she needed to get her feelings down on paper.
3. It cultivates gratitude
We tend to forget about the goodness around us and focus our minds on negative things. But this is completely normal. Journaling your daily thanksgiving builds positive thoughts and brings happiness into your life. You’ll realise the smallest things can be the biggest moments you’re grateful for.
A young woman once told me she starts each morning by writing what she’s grateful for. It was especially meaningful during the height of the pandemic when most countries were in lockdown. This helped her build empathy towards others’ feelings and made her grateful for the freedom she had.
4. It nurtures your inner artist
You’d be surprised at the ideas you come up with when you get your thoughts on paper. Many artists, musicians and writers use journals every day to write down the magic that’s conjuring in their minds. If you’re struggling with your creativity, give journaling a chance to spark that creative genius inside you. You can even use pens, stickers and washi tape to bring out your creative flair and make your journal look incredible by putting your heart and soul into the work.
5. It gives you better sleep
Sleep is underrated! We need more of it. There are benefits to a good night’s rest, but more people are experiencing issues with their sleep. Journaling before bed is a great way to dump all those thoughts running around in your mind. This allows you to relax so your thoughts won’t wake you in the middle of the night.
You can also start a dedicated sleep journal by your bedside table. Students who are stressed from exams or schoolwork can journal before sleeping to write down their weekly to-do list. This allows them to relax because they’re thinking less about the tasks they need to work on before getting some shut-eye.
These benefits are just a slice of goodness when it comes to journaling. Always remember: there’s true beauty in making the journaling experience your own!