Ds Scholarship

Journaling is a great way to improve emotional state

There are many benefits to keeping a journal. Some examples include improving emotional intelligence, achieving goals, tracking progress and growth, improving writing and communication skills, increasing memory, reducing stress and gaining confidence.

I have roughly twenty separate notebooks, each with its own purpose. Some of them I bought with purpose in mind, while others I simply liked how cute they were and found a purpose for them. My favorite is my wellness journal. This notebook has a small light blue canvas cover with the word “wellness” written across the cover in gold.

Each day, I will write a short summary of the day and rate my overall mood on a scale from 1-5. I have consistently written in it for nearly a year. I love going back to reread what I have written and seeing how my mood has changed or might not have changed over a duration of time.

Whenever I feel an overwhelming strong emotion, good or bad, I feel the urge to write it down. I begin to journal whatever comes to mind, and once I’m finished I immediately sense an improvement in my mood.

I got it out, no longer holding back what was on my mind. I am then able to reflect on what I wrote and understand what it is I am actually feeling instead of what I might have initially thought.

Junior english literature major Piper Martin says that she used to keep a journal in high school, but it later turned into short stories. She expressed her belief that it can benefit more than just her. “There are benefits to writing. I think a lot of people in our generation don’t have an outlet, they hold very much an all-or-nothing mindset, if they’re not good at it then they’re not going to pursue it,” says Martin.

Taking notes during class and going back to reflect is also a form of journaling. According to a study At Radford University, students who kept a journal on what they learned performed significantly better on exams.

Cambridge University did its own research on journaling. The school had half the participants write about traumatic, emotional or stressful events while the other half wrote about neutral events. They found students who wrote about neutral events showed little to no improvement, but those who wrote about emotional events had improvements in both physical and psychological health.

Martin believes that the power of writing comes from a natural-born instinct. “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life,” said Martin.

There is no right or wrong way to do it. Journaling can be a personal matter, so every individual can go about it in a way that might work for them, but might not work for someone else. I have learned a great deal about myself through journaling while also improving my studying and personal habits.

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