One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I’ve ever received is to write things down. In my house I have a box of over a dozen notebooks—all journals that I’ve been keeping for years. When I’m struggling with something, writing is the surefire way I’m able to get things off my chest and immediately feel better. Of course the problems aren’t immediately solved, but writing it all out makes me feel like I can move forward in solving them.
No matter what you’re going through, writing things down can make you feel better. And this isn’t just friendly advice—there is plenty of research (like this study from UCLA, and this article on the health benefits from PsychCentral) that share the evidence behind the benefits of keeping a journal.
If an old fashioned journal isn’t for you, making a Tumblr to host all your thoughts and feelings can serve the same purpose.
So, how can keeping a journal or Tumblr make you feel better?
You express all your emotions instead of holding them in.
Holding on to negative feelings and thoughts adds unnecessary weight to your being. If they’re not expressed, they’ll subconsciously impact your conversations and ability to handle future challenges. Keeping all this negative energy internal is not healthy. When you express what you’re feeling, you get those thoughts and emotions out of you in a productive way.
I think we’ve all been in a situation where we were holding onto frustration for way too long, and eventually it all burst out at once, making it a bigger situation than it would have been otherwise. This can be avoided by getting these feelings out in a way that’s comfortable for you. Afterwards, you’re free of those thoughts and feelings buzzing around your head and draining your energy. No matter what form it takes, externalize those emotions in a healthy way!
Things are easier to sort out and understand.
Once thoughts and feelings are out of your head and into your journal or Tumblr, it’s much easier to make sense of them. Freewriting (the process of writing down every single thought that comes to mind) is a beneficial method to get to the bottom of whatever you’re feeling. Eventually you can follow your thought process to the core of the issue.
Whether it’s writing down an internal monologue, making lists or mapping things out, seeing it all out in the open can help make connections and potential solutions. This also makes it easier for you to explain your struggles to those you care about, so they can better understand and potentially help you.
When you look back you see your journey and learn from it.
One of the most invaluable parts of keeping a journal or Tumblr is being able to look back on it in the years to come. If you’re reading this right now, it proves that you have gotten through every difficulty you’ve ever faced in your past. When we’re steeped in the stress and emotion of the moment, we forget to consider the big picture.
Looking back on your journal or Tumblr at all the things you’ve overcome demonstrates that troubles pass. It reminds you that the things that may be challenging you now probably won’t bother you in a few months, let alone years. By keeping a journal or Tumblr, you can look back on what you’ve been through, be proud of how far you’ve come, and have faith in how far you can go.
Erin Ford is a public relations account executive and has been blogging for many years. While attending Penn State, she discovered a love for Women’s Studies, which she found empowering and illuminating, and graduated with a minor in the subject. Since then, she finds fulfillment in speaking up about issues impacting women and girls, and believes that through honest conversations everyone can be empowered to do the same.