Journaling is the practice of keeping a diary or record in order to explore your thoughts and feelings surrounding life events. While journaling is effective for stress management and self-exploration, it is not the same as simply recording your life happenings in a brief and casual manner. To receive the most benefit from journaling, you must write in detail about thoughts and feelings related to stressful events, as one would discuss topics in therapy.

People often wonder about the differences between journals and diaries. As mentioned above, journals explore thoughts and feelings around life events. Diaries, on the other hand, are general records of events. Long-term practitioners often journal as a morning exercise while those keeping diaries often write at the end of the day to recount significant events. An easier distinction is to think of diaries as describing the weather outside, while journals describe the weather inside.

Journaling enables you to clarify what you are thinking and feeling – thereby gaining important self-knowledge. It also serves as a good problem-solving outlet, as you may be able to hash out an issue and come up with answers much more easily on paper. It will help you process by fully exploring and releasing the pressures involved and engages both hemispheres of the brain, allowing the experience to become fully integrated in your mind.

Research has proven that journaling builds exceptional health benefits. It decreases the asthma symptoms, arthritis pain and other health conditions while simultaneously improving cognitive function, strengthening the immune system, preventing illnesses and negating the effects of stress.

Journaling is a viable option for the disabled since it does not require intense physical activity like yoga or regular exercise. While some prefer to use a computer, journaling requires only a pen and paper, making it less expensive than techniques requiring the aid of a class, book, teacher or therapist or methods such as biofeedback. Journaling doesn't release tension like muscle relaxation, guided imagery or meditative techniques, but it's great for general physical, mental and emotional well-being.

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