College students can benefit from journaling

COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS

 

Gracie Donoghue, Columnist

We all have difficult days. I know I do. There are times where nothing in life seems to be going right. However, journaling will help you calm your mind. Journaling has many mental health benefits that allow the mind to calm down after a day full of assignments and responsibilities.

University of Texas at Austin researcher and psychologist James Pennebaker says, “Regular journaling strengthens immune cells. Writing about stressful situations helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.”

Journaling is the way to healing. It allows you to freely express yourself by externalizing your feelings on the page. Whenever I am having a bad day or have a heated argument, I can turn to my journal and take my feelings out on the pages instead of the person itself.

The emotional release that comes from journaling lowers anxiety and stress and induces better sleep. I find that journaling broadens your vocabulary and stretches your knowledge. While I journal, I am subconsciously thinking about incorporating new words into my thoughts on the page.

Journaling also evokes mindfulness. It carries you into a mental state where the past frustrations and anxieties of the day lose their edge and alleviates tension. It focuses your wandering mind and takes you from passivity to engaging your thoughts.

I personally believe that one of the best benefits of journaling is that it improves your communication skills. Writing your thoughts out on the page creates a connection to speaking, because it is a form of written communication.

However, anyone who decides to pursue journaling has to intentionally think about the words they write on the pages. Being able to verbalize your thoughts through journaling increases your intelligence level and gives you peace of mind.There are many health benefits to journaling.

However, I feel that a journal is most useful when you are struggling because it becomes a coping mechanism that you can use when life gets overwhelming.

 

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