The Dark Side of Journaling: What are the Negative Effects?

Journaling is a popular activity that many people use to express their thoughts and feelings. It can be a great way to process emotions and gain insight into yourself. However, it is important to be aware of the potential negative effects of journaling. According to Stosny, writing a diary can turn dark when you live too much in your head, turn you into a passive observer in your life, obsess you, become a vehicle of guilt instead of solutions, and wallow in the negative things that have happened to you.

These situations are easily avoided if we moderate the amount of journaling we make. Research on the benefits of keeping a diary shows mixed results. Sometimes it helps, but it often makes things worse. In general, it is likely to hurt if you try to help you “know yourself” in isolation, and it helps if it leads to greater understanding and behavior change in your interactions with others. People tend to highlight only the advantages of keeping a diary because they believe that there are no disadvantages as a result.

However, there are some disadvantages of keeping a diary that can affect people mentally, as keeping a diary requires other lifestyle changes that people don't make. In a report by The Smart Lioness, keeping a diary may cause some to overthink their daily movements, which has a negative impact on their mental health. In addition, keeping a journal can make some think about how they will write daily experiences in a journal rather than actually experiencing what is happening in the moment. For those with inflated egos, keeping a diary can also make one obsessed with oneself and they can become obsessed with negative thoughts that have happened. It is also a source of guilt rather than a place to find solutions if not done correctly.

Obviously, unless done correctly, keeping a diary can have more negative effects on your life than positive ones. After a while, keeping a diary can become an obsession. And when you're no longer able to tell the difference between real life and the notes you make in your diary, you tend to introduce anything and that can become toxic very quickly. Many health benefits have been derived from keeping a diary regularly, including but not limited to stress relief, positive emotional effects, and self-confidence. When you are in a difficult situation and you want to write down the negativity that is in your life, doing so can be very confronting.

Expressively writing in a diary can calm your heart rate, which is better for your health, but can make you miss out on negative events. When you're going through a rough patch, keeping a diary can cause your mind to fall into a chain reaction of negativity. When keeping a journal allows you to wallow in negative things that have happened to you, keeping a journal is supposed to be a productive task; if you find that you end up repeating the same things over and over again in your diary, keeping a journal is probably not the right habit to help you deal with those feelings or situations. In one study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, participants were asked to keep diaries for two weeks. The people in this group were divided into two groups, one of which was asked to write about negative life experiences and the other about their daily schedules. Like the two sides of the same coin, there are some negative points related to keeping a diary for physical health, especially if you don't tend to draw the line. Just as keeping a diary encourages you to do better and improves body positivity, on the other hand, it can also lead you to harbor body negativity.

In fact, most people find tremendous support when writing negative thoughts in a journal, as it allows them to erase these things from their minds. In addition, keeping a journal allows people to identify specific negative tendencies in which one engages and, in addition, allows them to discover how to change those thoughts and behaviors.

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