The Benefits of Journaling

As technology progresses, there’s less of a necessity for physical journals. The ‘notes’ app on your phone is so much more accessible than a notebook and a pen. Although both outlets allow you to be as raw as you want to be with your emotions, there’s something significantly more therapeutic with physical handwriting than typing on a phone or computer. 

I’m sure at some point growing up, we’ve all had diaries. These days, we enjoy pulling out our third-grade diaries from the very back of our closets and reminiscing on those memories, even laughing at our old selves. Of course, at 8-years-old, our struggles may definitely not have been as draining as they are now. 

People release emotion in various ways; some get angry, some cry, and some may separate themselves from their emotions entirely. There are countless coping methods out there. I’m not here to rave about the one that works for me or the one that I prefer. As a writer (obviously), I think there are a few things that make physical handwriting a more unique experience than typing. 

Your professors will rave about studying by handwriting your notes because it helps with the information resonating in your brain. Not only is it more effective for academic purposes, but writing things out by hand can have amazing impacts on your emotions. It can improve the way you handle your emotions, your behaviour, and even the comprehension of your own thoughts. According to Psychology Today, “writing by hand connects you with the words and allows your brain to focus on them, understand them, and learn from them” (Deutsch, 2017). Since writing by hand is significantly slower than typing everything out, it forces you to think of each and every word as you write them, from how it’s spelt to how you want to articulate it. 

When you write out your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, you claim responsibility for them. During the time you’re writing, it allows you to process these feelings more effectively, giving you the chance to further understand your own emotions by putting them on paper. Journaling is a way to ‘speak to’ an unbiased source that can’t tell you you’re wrong. You’re validated and free to be as raw as you want in a judgement-free zone. 

You may argue that typing in the notes app of your phone achieves the same effect. The special thing about physically hand writing is the fact that it takes significantly longer than typing. This way, it forces you to process and connect with your emotions on a deeper level than simply typing them out. Further, once you’ve devoted the time to write it out, your mind isn’t as heavy. Moving forward, you can deal with the situation you wrote about in a mature, composed way – whether that has to do with a conversation you need to have, a presentation you’ve been anxious to do, or simply admitting something to yourself. 

A part of growth is developing the ability to be fully transparent and honest with yourself. If there’s anyone that you’re going to be completely open with, it’s you. Taking that extra time to write, not only helps you articulate your feelings more effectively, but it allows you to process the situation and fully understand how you’re feeling. From there, you begin to take responsibility for your emotions and it prevents you from dumping it all on someone else. Plus, it makes you feel productive! Don’t knock it ‘till you try it! 

Sources 

Deutsch, L. (2017, October). Is it Better to Write by Hand or Computer? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/memory-catcher/201710/is-it-bett...