The Surprising Benefits of Journaling

PArent journaling to express their emotions

Did you know that keeping a journal can make you healthier and happier? The emotional release from journaling can lower anxiety, reduce stress, and even help you get a better night’s sleep

Journaling allows you to share your thoughts and feelings by writing them down. It’s not complicated and easy to get started.

This is not about poetry, handwriting or over thinking; it’s being able to share your experiences and record your journey.

The benefits of journaling

The American social psychologist Jamie Pennebaker made a discovery that has greatly impacted how we think about dealing with emotional trauma and stress: 

Writing expressively about emotions can work as well as an antidepressant. 

He believes that journaling about stressful events helps you come to terms with them and even strengthens your immune cells. Expressing emotions, rather than holding them in, has a positive effect on your ability to handle stress, cope with family life and supports your physical health.

The My Family Coach Journal app

My Family Coach has a free journaling app. It’s great for recording your thoughts, reflecting on the day, and to track your child’s behaviour.

You’ll find it on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store

Close up of the My Family Coach app

Release negative thoughts

Sometimes negative thoughts and emotions can run on repeat in our minds. This can be stressful when you’re dealing with a challenging situation.

But if you stop and put your emotions down in a journaling app or on paper, it helps you release these thoughts from your mind.

As you write, you may even come up with a solution you hadn’t thought of before.

Journaling as a parent

When you have a problem and you’re feeling stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing that anxiety.

Just seeing things written down will help you spot patterns in your child’s behaviours, triggers perhaps you hadn’t noticed before, so you can take action. It feels positive and lets you be proactive about challenging situations. 

Woman journaling in a small notebook.

The process of writing lets your brain organise complex feelings. Writing down these thoughts helps your mind and body to let go, organise, process, and resolve uncomfortable feelings.

Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problem. 

Starting your journal

You only need a few minutes each day for journaling. Find a time when you know you won’t be disturbed or feel rushed. Ideally, pick a time at the end of your workday or before you go to bed. Create a journaling routine to help you remember to do it every day.

You can write for as long as you like, in full sentences, text speak, or simple notes. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation errors. 

Don’t censor your thoughts or feelings — it’s important to be honest and share how situations make you feel. Whatever you choose to write about, really let go and explore your thoughts and emotions about the identified issue.

You might write about the same thing every day or something different each time. It is entirely up to you. There is no ‘right’ way to do journaling. Experiment to find what works best for you.

What to write in your journal

All of us worry. We worry about the future, the past and especially about our children. Write in your journal about anything that’s worrying you now — it can be big or small. 

You could write about:

  • The issue that’s playing on your mind or keeping you awake at night.
  • Something you feel is negatively affecting your family’s life.
  • Things you may have avoided talking to your child about.

Focus on actual events and give some order to your reflection, considering what happened before and after. Everything you write is completely private. You may choose to share it with a teacher, professional or parent coach, or keep it to yourself. 

With so many benefits to journaling, why not start today?

Next steps

Our free journaling app helps you understand the reasons behind your child’s behaviour, so you can find simple solutions. Find out more.

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