Journaling benefits mind and body


Salah Abdulkarim

Zelda Harmoning sits in the lunch room while journaling about her day.

Unlike in movies journaling isn’t always a notebook with the deepest of secrets of young children and their daily encounters. Rather, many people regardless of age love to journal to relieve stress, observe daily changes, or it is something they just enjoy. In fact many people who enjoy journaling do it spontaneously, it could be daily, weekly, or whenever they want. 

For senior Annika Findley, journaling was not something that started to track her moods or write down her thoughts, she simply wanted to use an item gifted to her. 

“I had this little book because my grandma always had sent me a journal. So I figured one day I would try to make use of it,” Findley said. 

It gradually transitioned to a notebook used to vent her thoughts out. 

“I would just write down thoughts to kind of track how my mood was throughout months to see if there were like fluctuations or just kind of what was affecting them so that I could be more aware of what was happening in my own brain,” Findley said. 

An article written by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that expressive writing similar to Findleys is beneficial. The benefits observed included freed memory and less intrusive thoughts regarding stressful experiences.

While Findley aimed to write down a few sentences every night, it never became a routine. The reported that people who journal are able to better regulate or control their emotions as they are “more connected with their inner needs”. 

“I would forget a lot and then sometimes I would feel guilty about how I had forgotten and it would cause me like a spiral and like basically not journal for like months,” Findley said. 

There was a time when Findley used the journal everyday not only to track her moods, but also the foods she ate. 

“I was just having a lot of stomach aches and like tracking that was helpful for me. It kind of helped me figure out what I had eaten that day to see if like maybe I was developing some kind of intolerance which was helpful because that way I didn’t have to go to a doctor and like spend money to do the same thing,” Findley said. 

[Journaling] Helps me understand my own feelings better.”

— sophomore Zelda Harmoning

Similar to Findley, for sophomore Zelda Harmoning journaling provides an outlet for her emotions.

“I have a journal, I use it a lot when I travel with my family…I’ll usually rant a lot about them. There’s usually just a lot of emotions…it helps me understand my own feelings better,” Harmoning said. 

Harmoning feels that journaling may be enjoyable for her, but it may not be right for everyone.

“I definitely don’t think it’s something you can force, it’s something you have to want to do. Otherwise, you’re not going to feel like it’s helpful,” Harmoning said.

Lastly, Harmoning shares how often she recommends journaling if you are interested in doing so.

“Don’t force yourself make it a habit, but you can just keep one and do it when you feel like it…I don’t use mine regularly, but when I feel like jotting down some thoughts it really feels good,” Harmoning said. 

Whether someone journals on paper, an audio recording, or some other form, journaling has been proven to be beneficial to the mind and body. 

Do you want a journal on your phone now? Read about the new app Daylio.