Does Science Say You Should Journal?
I’ve spent the best part of a decade learning about the way humans think, feel, and behave. This journey has allowed me to study social, cultural, behavioural, psychological, neurological, and more recently spiritual factors contributing to who we are *human beans. Just like the pieces of a jigsaw, many different factors slot together to make us the amazing people that we are today.
I have always been particularly interested in the neurological mechanisms underpinning our actions, emotions, thoughts, and relationships. However, more recently I’ve been turning my attention to general mental health and wellbeing. The wellbeing of the general public; you, me, our friends, our family. Our general health and wellbeing are crucial if we hope to lead flourishing, meaningful, and healthy lives. This is why I nearly cried, with happiness, when Rory (who started a voice journal over lockdown) invited me to join Team Sound Off.
What was it about being involved in developing an app devoted to audio journaling that made me so excited?
As you may know, Clinical Psychology is rooted in evidence-based practice. This means that there is often a robust body of research guiding the way in which we work with others and understand clinical problems.
So what does the evidence base say about journaling?
Scientific research suggests that by incorporating small, achievable tasks such as journaling into our daily lives we can greatly improve our overall wellbeing and quality of life.
The evidence describes an array of health benefits resulting from journaling.
I have sifted through prevalent research papers and summarised 5 key reasons ‘Why science says you should journal’:
- Journaling can enhance our ability to cope with ‘Life Stressors’, anxiety, and burn-out (improving our resilience and ability to ‘bounce back’).
- Journaling can improve our cognitive abilities.
This includes memory, attention, problem-solving, and information processing.
- Journaling can provide a form of self-care and improve mental-clarity.
- Journaling can develop our ability to be mindful, spiritual, and creative.
- Journaling can facilitate social integration and connection with others.
With so many psychological, cognitive, biological, and social benefits of journaling can you now see why I so quickly joined Team Sound Off? This is a group of *human beans who are developing a tool that really will help people.
Over the coming weeks, we will continue to explore the value of journaling, the importance of wellbeing, and how sounding off facilitates these processes.
Speak to you soon friends,
*‘Human Beans’: not scientifically accurate. However, I often imagine us all as a great selection of multicoloured, multi-flavoured jelly beans.
Do you keep a journal? What’s been stopping you, if not?
Comment your answers below. I’ll share a reference list of journals cited in this post in a comment too.