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Paper therapy

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Paper therapy

Mint Sungvornyothin, Bottom line editor

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Pink diaries with padlocks and notebooks with race cars on the covers—journaling might sound like something only children do. However, believe it or not, journaling has been a rising trend lately. From bullet journals to nighttime journals—they definitely have great benefits.

Here are possible reasons why one might consider reaching for a pen and notebook:

1. It can be treated as a “friend.” According to psychology.co.uk, a journal can potentially act as a “friend” that is available for listening any time of day. There are some issues one might not feel comfortable sharing out loud, but recording them helps better understand what one is feeling. Besides, a journal will not judge someone for any secrets one tells it. 

2. It allows one to get creative. Journals are like a blank canvas. Ideas, stories, lists, pictures—anything—goes on the pages. Even famous authors such as Maya Angelou, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Sylvia Plath have kept journals in which they have infused their writing and creative productivity.

3. It is a helpful way to track behavior and allow for self-improvement. According to PositivePsychologyProgram.com checking back on journals becomes habitual, people are able to see patterns of how they felt or acted. This can help them become aware of possible issues that might get in the way of achieving goals or maintaining healthy relationships with themselves.

4. It provides a boost in mental health. Writing can actually strengthen self-esteem as it allows one to look back on any exciting events one experienced in a safe environment. The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org) also states that writing serves to clear one’s mind and relieve stress.

5. It enhances memory and problem-solving skills. By engaging the brain in continuous writing, both sides of the brain are put into training. This increases the ability to form analytical methods to complex problems. Additionally, research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General suggests that expressive writing about experiences will ameliorate memory retention.

6. It heals—literally! A joint study done by the University of Auckland and the University of Nottingham found that journaling alleviates symptoms of ailments such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Forbes also says certain journals, like food logs, are extremely valuable for those with eating disorders as it serves as a record of their diet and emotions.

7. It is simple and hassle-free. Journaling does not have to be a chore. Some do it daily, but some only reach for their journals whenever they feel inspired. Besides, there are plenty of options besides from plain old paper notebooks, such as phone apps or private journals online.

 

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Paper therapy