Author: Joshua Banja
Most of us have probably heard the old saying that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” but little do people know how the pen’s might can be used to improve our mental well-being.
Journaling, diary keeping, letter writing, or whatever you choose to call it, is an ancient written tradition that dates to at least a millennia ago (Purcell, 2014). Several important figures have kept journals throughout history. Such as the likes of Leonard Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Anne Frank (d’Estries, 2016). And the practice has had such a long run in human history for a good reason. Science backs up that journaling provide several health benefits to a person’s mental health (Purcell, 2014). Some of which are:
If you feel out of touch with your thoughts or emotions, journal. It can help sort out your mind (Purcell, 2014).
If you feel stressed out, journal. Writing out your thoughts and feelings can help you blow off some steam caused by your feelings (Purcell, 2014).
If you feel stuck trying to work out a problem, journal. It can help you see the problem in a different light that can help you figure out a solution (Purcell, 2014).
If you are in a disagreement with somebody, journal. Writing about the misunderstanding can help understand their point of view better, so you can come up with a sensible resolution to the conflict (Purcell, 2014).
If you do not know yourself well, journal. Routine journaling will help you learn more about who you are; furthermore, why certain situations and people cause you to respond in a certain way (Purcell, 2014).
Are you sold yet on the idea of journaling? If so, here some prompts to get you started:
1. If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is…
2. The two moments I’ll never forget in my life are… Describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable.
3. Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
4. When I’m in pain — physical or emotional — the kindest thing I can do for myself is…
5. Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and who you can genuinely trust. (Then make time to hang out with them.)
6. I really wish others knew this about me…
7. Using 10 words, describe yourself.
8. Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to.
9. Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes to.
10. Write the words you need to hear. (Tartakovsky, 2018)
d’Estries, M. (2016). 8 famous visionaries who kept a journal. From the Grapevine. Retried on October 27, 2020, from https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/lifestyle/famous-people-who-kept-journal-albert-einstein-marie-curie-mark-twain-charles-darwin
Purcell, M. (2020). The health benefits of journaling. Psych Central.Retrieved on October 27, 2020, fromhttps://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/
Tartakovsky, M. (2018). 30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 27, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/30-journaling-prompts-for-self-reflection-and-self-discovery