Now more than ever, expressive writing has begun to make a huge comeback. With Pinterest boards dedicated to journal writing and popular books such as Someone Like Me, highlighting its mental health benefits - journaling has become a Renaissance. And rightly so. If you haven't picked up a pen in a while or have never given journaling a try, here are five ways journaling can help overcome stress and anxiety.


1. Journaling Helps Navigate Stress and Anxiety


Filling the pages of your journal is a well-known way of reducing mental clutter and unwinding after a difficult day. By channeling your emotions into a healthy outlet, you can not only positively impact your mental health but can also enjoy long-term physical benefits such as a more robust immune system. Studies such as the one by Baikie and Wilhelm have shown incredible positive outcomes from journaling daily. 


2. Writing Increases Self-Awareness


Journaling is not always a pleasant experience because the truth is, sometimes, some stories are hard to put down on paper. But just like with Marian L. Thomas's character, Mýa Day, writing can become a way to create a positive self-dialogue with yourself. By taking the time to sit down and journal a little every day, you can work through complex emotions and process your everyday experiences. 


3. Journaling Helps Create Gratitude


One of the simplest yet most effective styles of writing is a gratitude journal. Taking a moment each day to focus on three positive things encourages optimism and helps build resilience for more challenging days than most. 


4. Writing Fosters Creativity


Expressive writing offers a medium to help find your voice. Your journal is your safe space. It's a place to process your emotions, clear your mind, and explore different topics that inspire you. 


5. Journaling Helps You Achieve Your Goals


It's true when people say, writing things down begins your journey of manifestation. Of course, you still need to put in a little work to make your dreams a reality. Journal writing is step one. It helps you identify what you want and what's making you pause. Understanding where these roadblocks come from can help you break them down into a plan to move forward towards making them come true. 


Staring at a blank page can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Whether it's the dream you had last night or what you ate for dinner, a straightforward sentence is all it takes to start. Still not sure how to get started? See how a fictional character does it. Pick up Someone Like Me by Marian L. Thomas to get inspired by Mýa Day and read how her life changed when she started journal writing for better mental health.



Baikie, Karen A., and Kay Wilhelm. "Emotional and Physical Health Benefits of Expressive Writing." Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, vol. 11, no. 5, 2005, pp. 338–346.

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