From the teenager’s “Dear Diary” to the starship Captain’s log, journaling is widely recognized as providing profound benefits, yet, for some reason, rarely practiced in our culture. Those who do journal are a special breed, chronicling their lives for posterity, but also for their own mental health. Many studies have concluded that journaling has deep therapeutic value. From the struggling addict, to the stressed out worker, to the anxious student, somehow there is power in putting pen to paper. Why is this? And what are the benefits anyway?
The Benefits of Journaling
Journaling has been used to help stress, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, addiction, ADD/ADHD, even Schizophrenia. And in general, it’s helped millions achieve an added satisfaction to life, and given history’s greatest thinkers a voice to resonate throughout the ages.
We encourage you to write with a pen (or pencil) and paper, as opposed to a laptop or phone. For one, a book of blank pages doesn’t buzz with annoying notifications every thirty seconds. And research suggests that writing by hand actually helps you to retain information. Granted that has to do with note taking during class, but in a sense, journaling is almost like note taking for your soul, like listening to yourself and taking down what you’re feeling.
As the University of Rochester Health Encyclopedia put it, “When you have a problem and you’re stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing that stress or anxiety. Then, once you’ve identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and, in turn, reduce stress.”
That’s why journaling is a major pillar of the DiveThru method. Putting your feelings into words helps create a narrative for your emotions and establish reasons and causes for those feelings.
Although we will often give you a writing prompt, we want you to write what feels right in the moment. Write without judgement and let the pen flow. It’s only a matter of time until you write something that takes you by surprise and puts things into a new perspective.
Finally, perhaps the best part of journaling is that it keeps track of your thoughts and feelings throughout time, so you have a record of not only the times you were at your darkest that you pulled through, but also your past successes to celebrate. Looking back at those times can be a way to give yourself the wise perspective of knowing you’ve grown as a human being.
As Oscar Wilde said, ““I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”