Journaling has been proven to help people who are dealing with depression and anxiety for many years. It is almost a form of personal therapy, where daily entries can provide “escape or emotional release of negative thoughts and feelings” . Being that the coronavirus has enhanced the amount of stress many people are having, journaling can be an effective way to cope.
You’re probably wondering how journaling can provide such beneficial results. As mentioned before, journaling can be a great form of self-therapy, helping to distract from negative thoughts and provide closure. It’s best to stick to a schedule for journaling, as different times can harness different results. For example, “journaling in the morning might help you organize your thoughts and prepare to face the day” . Journaling at night has its own unique benefits as well, as “journaling before bed may be a way to help you relax” . Writing things down “forces us to organize our experiences into a sequence, giving us a chance to examine cause and effect” . These topics can be about your feelings, work stress, relationships, money, or your social life. With that being said, it may not be healthy to write about the same difficult or traumatic experiences consistently.
Besides journaling’s therapeutic form, it’s also less strict about rules. While journaling, you don’t have to succumb to the “urge to pass judgment or censor your thoughts” . Here, you can start “disclosing emotions rather than stuffing them down, which is known to be harmful for our health” . Additionally, there is more creativity with journaling than you may think. If you are a person who is more visual, you can feel free to add “doodles, photos, positive affirmations, or memorabilia” around your thoughts .
In a study where college students were instructed to keep a journal and “write for at least 10 minutes, twice a week, over the course of a month,” the students began to think differently . They were able to see the “silver linings of the experience” .
Considering its benefits, try journaling out! Even though it may feel silly at first, it can be a great way to handle the stress and anxiety that builds as the pandemic continues to change our lives.
Hinders, D. (2020, September 4). Journaling to cope with covid-19 uncertainty - Mountain Laurel. Mountain Laurel Recovery Center. Retrieved November 7, 2021, from https://mountainlaurelrecoverycenter.com/using-journal-cope-covid-19-uncertainty/.
Newman, K. (2020, August 18). How journaling can help you in hard times. Greater Good Magazine. Retrieved November 7, 2021, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_journaling_can_help_you_in_hard_times#:~:text=Try%20expressing%20your%20thoughts%20and%20feelings%20in%20writing.&text=In%20fact%2C%20hundreds%20of%20people,and%20emotions%20around%20COVID%2D19.
Tams, L. (2020, November 11). Journaling to reduce COVID-19 stress. MSU Extension. Retrieved November 7, 2021, from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/journaling_to_reduce_stress.
Author: Kayjah Taylor
Editor: Sara Giarnieri
Health Scientist: Rayven Hall