The Power of Journaling by Abby Tune

March 31st, 2023 in Blog

Journaling is a time-honoured and well-loved self-care tool and research suggests that it can significantly benefit your physical and emotional health. It is simply writing down your thoughts and feelings in order to understand them more clearly. Just devoting a couple of minutes of the day to unleash and reflect can have profound impacts and help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental well-being. I will introduce the numerous benefits of journaling for both adults and children and tips on how to get started.

The benefits

1. Journaling helps to reduce stress

Journaling can be a great pressure releasing valve and can support coping and reduce the impact of stressful events helping to combat anxious thoughts and avoid burning out. Many studies link capturing emotions and thoughts of distress on paper with a decrease in anxiety and depression.

One study of patients, families and staff from a children’s hospital reported a reduction in stress levels after completing the following exercise:

  • Write 3 things you’re grateful for
  • Write the story of your life in 6 words
  • Write 3 wishes you have

12 months later, in a follow-up study, 85% of participants reported that the exercise was helpful and 59% continued using writing to reduce stress.

2. Journaling can help you achieve goals and track your growth
When you use your journal to write down your goals, you can help keep yourself accountable and it can serve as a reminder of what you need to do to achieve your goals. If you make journaling a regular habit, you can see how much progress or growth you’ve made by revisiting previous entries. Seeing your progress over time can give you a major confidence boost!

3. Journaling may boost health and well-being
Writing about your deepest thoughts and feelings may contribute to fewer doctor visits, lower blood pressure and greater well-being. Studies have shown that journaling can result in a better nights sleep, a stronger immune system and more self-confidence. It has also proven popular and effective for treating people with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

4. Journaling deepens self-discovery
Journaling can help provide a much-needed pause to help us rediscover who we are. When we write, we learn our preferences, dreams, fears and triggers. We are constantly evolving and journaling can help us keep up with who we are. It helps us bear witness to these changes and simply gets to know ourselves a whole lot better.

5. Journaling encourages space from negative thoughts

Writing down our fears, worries and negative thoughts can help us create a distance to consider them in a more objective way. It helps affirm the idea that you are not your thoughts, emotions or physical symptoms but the context in which they occur.

6. Journaling can help you figure out your next step

Writing down your thoughts and feelings about a situation is the first step in understanding how best to proceed. Seeing your concerns, questions and emotions in black and white gives you a clearer picture of your needs.

7. Journaling provides a way to process emotions

Journaling gives you the opportunity to process your emotions in a safe and contained space. Naming the specific emotions you’re experiencing and accepting them reduces their strength.

What about for children?

While all of the above benefits can be applied to children, journaling has also proven to have multiple benefits related to literacy and social growth as well as encouraging your child to discover open-ended writing.

1. Journaling can help your child deal with big feelings

A private journal can provide a safe space for your child to record new and unfamiliar feelings. Many kids feel better when they can express their thoughts and ideas in a safe and non- judgemental place.

2. Journaling can boost the imagination and teach gratitude

Journaling allows children to control their writing topics. Schools often require kids to write about mundane and obligatory topics which can deter children from writing exercises overall. Having a space that is just theirs and has no rules can help boost their imagination. Journaling also teaches children to show gratitude by encouraging thoughtfulness.

3. Journaling can improve your child’s writing skills

Journaling builds writing skills. The more we practice the better we get. Spelling, grammar and vocabulary can be improved through a regular writing habit.

Tips to get started

  1. Start by devoting just a few minutes a day. You’re more likely to stick with it if you do it a little bit at a time.
  2. Find your preferred tools. Whether that be by putting pen to paper, writing on your laptop or in the notes section of your phone.
  3. Start by taking several deep breaths. Take in your immediate surroundings and write whatever comes to mind. Or follow these prompts: 1. This is what happened today 2. I am experiencing these feelings about it. 3. I’m thinking these thoughts.
  4. Don’t censor yourself and resist the temptation to edit.
  5. Make it part of your daily routine.

We would love to encourage more schools to integrate a journaling practice into the school day, if your school is interested, please email

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