The New York Times recently wrote about a study that says the benefits of self-expressive writing are extensive. "Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory."
"Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness."
I’ve kept a journal, on and off, since I was 7 years old. Reading over them is a trip through my own memory. From ages 7-10 I seemed mostly preoccupied with play dates and which sibling had wronged me, and from 13 on struggling with understanding who I am as a person.
I wouldn’t say journaling has made me a better writer or given me deep insight to who I am, but it has helped me through the hardest moments of my life. Just the act of writing things down helped me to let them go. At least for the moment.
Do you keep a journal?