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Woman journaling.

Jot This Down: Journaling Can Boost Your Well-Being

You may know the basics to boosting your health and well-being, like eating well, exercise, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep. But there’s something else you should add to the list that can yield major benefits: journaling. Research shows that regularly writing down what’s on your mind can help you release emotions and make sense of what’s going on in your life. It can also help improve your relationships with others, lower your blood pressure, and decrease symptoms of depression.

There’s No ‘Write’ Way

There are many different ways to go about journaling. You can write about your thoughts and feelings, or, you can use your journal to help problem-solve. Try taking a big problem that you’re facing and then make a list breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts that you can tackle one at a time so the issue no longer feels so overwhelming.

You can also journal by jotting down a few things that you’re grateful for. Research suggests fostering a sense of daily gratitude has a powerful impact on your happiness level. Gratitude is often associated with the external behavior of thanking someone however it can also be an internal process. First, acknowledging the good aspects present in our lives and then secondarily, recognizing the source of these blessings as partially being separate from our own doing.

There is no right or wrong about what you may feel grateful for, it may be as simple as the warmth of the sun on your back for a few moments during a break. The second part of this practice is to consider how you contributed to each of your experiences or why you think that this experience came to be.

Make It a Habit

Journaling can protect your health in surprising ways. People with diabetes are often told to log their food intake and activities, but journaling your feelings can make a difference, too. When you have diabetes, you may experience a blood sugar spike during times of stress. By journaling, you can start to identify what’s triggering your stress and take steps to address it.

The key to journaling is finding what feels best for you. To make journaling a part of your daily routine, try linking it with a habit that you already do. For example, after brushing your teeth in the morning or in the evening, take a few minutes to write in your journal. Over time, writing will become just as automatic—and beneficial—as reaching for your toothbrush.


Amy Smith, FNP, is an integrated medicine practictioner at the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness. Visit BartonHealth.org/Integrative to learn more.