The Benefits of Keeping a Diary: How Journaling Changes the Brain

Keeping a diary is an effective way to keep your brain in top shape. Not only does it boost memory and comprehension, but it also increases working memory capacity, which may reflect better cognitive processing. In short, when you keep a diary, you improve your emotional intelligence. That means acquiring the ability to name, elaborate, manage and control your emotions, as well as empathize with others.

As a result, your thinking becomes much clearer, your decisions become more constructive, and you feel less nervous and stressed. All of this makes you a healthier person. Keeping a diary can be beneficial for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. It can also help you manage daily stress, manage your mood, and create a sense of gratitude. Studies of all kinds have supported that keeping a diary doesn't just address any condition with the mind.

Hafeez adds that journaling has been shown to increase happiness clinically and can also be used as an effective tool in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of talk therapy designed to change the way you think and behave, according to the NHS. Keeping a journal can help you cope with rumination by allowing you to externalize your anxious thoughts, put them into words, and then set them aside instead of letting them become an obsession. Surprisingly, keeping a diary has also been shown to improve overall immune function and reduce the risk of disease. When this segment of the study group returned to the MRI to see the same transactions, the activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex changed in the gratitude registration group, and they increased the value signal for the charity to receive money on itself. Repressing your worries never did anyone any good, but unless you express them with a therapist, it has been found that keeping a diary is best.

Psychotherapy is the most effective way to do this, but keeping a diary can be an effective self-help technique for some. If your journaling habits bring you a lot of feelings that you don't think you can control on your own, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for more support. So far, science has shown that the benefits of keeping a diary are visible in many mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, body image distortions, suicide, as well as in some temporary conditions such as sadness over a breakup, being the victim of a natural disaster or experiencing a mourning. As you look at your diary over time, you may begin to see particular patterns emerge, either in your own behavior or in the behavior of others. A study by Hasanzadeh et al found that the simple act of keeping a diary reduced anxiety in women suffering from multiple sclerosis. If you're looking for an easy and accessible way to manage negative thoughts and symptoms of mental health conditions, trauma or stress, keeping a journal may be an excellent option for you.

Expressive writing through journaling can be an incredibly powerful way to process stress, trauma, and different emotions. As you can see from this article, not only are there several types of journaling available but also many ways to benefit from this activity.

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