2020 has been one heck of a wild ride, and most people can’t wait to get off. With a pandemic that has shackled the world to their homes, shuttered businesses, and disrupted people’s livelihoods, it’s definitely a year that many won’t look back on fondly. Even without the pandemic, there have been catastrophes worldwide. It definitely feels like too much to handle sometimes.
When things get too overwhelming, it’s best to put it all in one place. Not quite on your social media feeds—indeed, at some point, you’ve put yourself on a timeout from all the distressing news on your feed—but in a journal.
The Importance of Opening Up
Journaling has always been widely practiced, but it’s gained even more attention during the pandemic. Plenty of individuals have begun to keep a pandemic journal, which helps them keep track of their quarantine days. It’s useful not just to process complicated thoughts and feelings, but to distinguish days that tend to blend together, especially when you spend all of them sheltering in place.
Bottling negative and anxious emotions in yourself isn’t just bad for your mental health, but it takes a toll on your physical health, too. When your feelings don’t have anywhere to go, they fester in you, making you feel even worse. Having a safe space to open up and truly be yourself, like in your journal, is a healthy and productive way to process and release these thoughts and feelings. If you’re too shy to share these struggles with a friend, turn to your journal—it’s supported by science.
Experts have long hailed the benefits of keeping a journal. A 2006 study explored this and analyzed the psychological effects of writing and drawing in three groups of people. It found that those who journaled enjoyed a significant reduction in negative psychological symptoms, especially if they began the project feeling stressed.
How Journals Keep You Healthy
There’s plenty of research that supports the health benefits of journaling, especially since it helps reduce stress levels. With our immune systems as our main priority these days, it’s essential to do as much as possible to boost its functionality—something journaling is excellent at.
There’s even a study that explored the impact of emotional expression on a vaccine’s effectiveness. In the experiment, participants wrote down their thoughts and feelings about deeply personal experiences. Others wrote down their daily activities. Everyone received the hepatitis B vaccine and two more booster shots.
The participants then underwent a blood test. The group that journaled about their troubling experience showed a higher antibody count before the last dose. Meanwhile, the other group had a normal, healthy response to the vaccine. While the experiment had good results, it suggests that journaling could make a critical difference for immunocompromised individuals.
There’s even more evidence that journaling is excellent for boosting the immune system, even when you’ve caught a virus. One study showed similar results; participants with mononucleosis journaled regularly about an upsetting event. Their blood tests, taken after journaling, showed higher antibodies. Although journaling is an art form, it’s definitely backed by science!
Journals Help You Grow
It can be challenging to see the light at the end of the tunnel in exceptionally tough times. While writing in a journal probably won’t find the cure to COVID-19, it’ll definitely give you the tools you need to get through such an uncertain period in modern history. Writing your thoughts and feelings down helps you organize them, freeing your head to think about other things. You’ll feel relaxed, especially since releasing them is incredibly cathartic.
When you have your experiences on paper and organized into a sequence, you make sense of the story. You’ll become an observer of what you experienced, realizing crucial insights that will help you understand things from a new perspective. Now that you know how to make sense of them, you grow, little by little—making you more resilient, especially in challenging circumstances.
A journal is one of the most potent yet inexpensive tools to have at your disposal. All you need is your favorite pen, notebook, and a place to sit down and scribble away. It’s a place you can freely be yourself without worrying about judgment. Given all the upsetting events going on right now, it’s become more valuable than ever.
Looking for self-help journals to get you through tough times? Check us out at Set In Soul! We are an online stationery store in the USA with unique writing journals, signature pens, and gift wrapping papers that’s sure to speak to your soul. Get your next journal from us today!