Writing is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. After having a terrible weekend, I feel better already while penning these thoughts.
Stress just seems to melt whenever my pencil tip dispenses cluttered emotional baggage. For that reason, I’m a massive proponent of journaling as therapy.
Before I share some of my recent gory life details, I’ll note a few scientifically-backed reasons why journaling greatly benefits mental health.
The foremost benefit of journaling is it makes you feel good. We’ve all had days where the sun doesn’t seem to shine and getting out of bed feels pointless.
However, as I’m finding right now, pushing through that depression with pen and notepad in hand can spark vital brain functions.
The act of writing stimulates the cerebral cortex primarily while firing up the entire organ. Just as exercise is vital to a healthy body, writing is a key way to ensure brain fitness.
Those nasty, debilitating thoughts would have only intensified had I not chosen to self-medicate with writing. Now, I’ve replaced negative self-talk with purposeful action. I encourage you to do the same.
In addition to promoting healthy vibes through total brain stimulation, writing also aids creativity.
Certainly, we are at our best when creating. As human beings, we are built to innovate, design, and problem-solve.
Writing requires the coordination of all our higher executive functions. The process of structuring and sharing inner monologue through syntax only enhances our mental order. An ordered mind, free of confusing static, is best at placing positivity into action.
My best ideas always occur when writing. The rhythm associated with building coherent sentences opens a part of me that only exists when journaling. That treasured space contains abundant optimism. Sharing our creative ideas helps everyone.
Writing increases cortical matter in the hippocampus, cerebellum, and prefrontal cortex – all specific brain regions which regulate memory.
With the mental benefits of writing becoming more apparent, it makes perfect sense that scribing also boosts memory. Numerous studies show writing protects against cognitive decline as we age.
Recalling life events, envisioning future outcomes, and receiving that all-important total brain stimulation strengthens synapse creation.
Now known as a plastic, or malleable organ, the brain can continue expanding well into our later decades. The caveat is that we exercise our gray matter each day.
Writing is perhaps the best way to beef up the brain, reduce mental decline, and improve memory.
According to healthy grades, journaling helps insomnia patients sleep better and longer. The act of ordering thoughts, and relieving stress through writing can release serotonin precursors which reduce cortisol and promote a restful night’s shut-eye.
As a writer, I can say my best sleep occurs when I’ve written about a topic that helps others. The act of spreading goodwill fills me with tranquil bedtime thoughts. For those reasons, it’s best to journal in the evenings if sleeping well is your top priority.
During those sessions, you can write about anything you desire. Although, studies reveal that gratitude journaling reduces even more cortisol, lowers stress, and shrinks the risk of heart disease. The greatest benefit, however, to gratitude journaling is enhanced sleep quality.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WRITE?
If you live a fast-paced life, finding time to journal can be difficult. Though, writing at least ten minutes per day -as noted- does reap massive benefits.
While I prefer blogging in the morning and journaling at night, you can set your schedule. The important thing is that you write daily to see improved mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Your writing can simply consist of brain-storming sessions or ‘to-do’ lists. Content isn’t nearly as important as consistency when it comes to journaling.
I’ve found that by sharing this information, I’m no longer as angry about a financial dispute concerning my latest e-book cover.
Though before I began this entry, tension and rage pervaded me. Now, I
feel far better equipped to handle the situation.
My advice is that you make writing a part of your daily wellness routine. While putting any thoughts on paper can seem daunting on our worst days, it is well worth it to do so.
Keep those brains engaged, and be blessed!