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“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Journaling dates back to at least the 10th century in Japan. Perhaps there was more to it than simply documentation because recent research is finding evidence that journaling also has a positive impact on physical health and well-being. “University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes… Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, acting as a stress management tool, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.” (1)

Journaling also has the ability to free your mind from ruminative and stressful thoughts, which are linked to anxiety and depression. Much like your body’s necessity to clear toxins, your mind can become built up with thoughts and thought patterns that require cleansing. Journaling is a useful way to clear out this build up, allowing more space for new thoughts and giving your right brain, the creative side, room and time to freely roam and create.

Here are three ways you can journal to help improve your physical and emotional health:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal: Keep your journal beside your bed, and each morning when you awake, write 6 things for which you are grateful. “Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.” (2) This may be due to the focus on positive things in your life. You can even use this as a springboard for what you want to create for your day.
  2. Free journal or mind dump: Journal regularly about whatever is on your mind. Set aside 15-20 minutes of time each day where you can be alone, and empty your mind without censoring yourself. This helps release any stressful or anxious thoughts you may be having, which are likely making you feel stuck or frustrated. Sometimes things feel bigger when we think about it over and over again. Mind dumping allows space for you to see how manageable things are and helps give you back your power.
  3. Keep a vision journal: Set aside time at least once a week for 30 minutes or more to set intentions. You can do this for your day, week or month. Allow yourself time to visualize the life you want to create for yourself. You don’t have to think about action points unless it helps you. Focus on the vision and feelings that come up when you are living the life you want. And jot it all down in detail. Revisit it regularly and make adjustments if necessary. Allow yourself to go big. You can create anything you really want for yourself. Make sure you are flexible with how you get there, though. Life can be a good partner when you stay open and relaxed.

Want help creating a healthy lifestyle? Need guidance on creating the physical and emotional health you want? Call us today to schedule a consultation.


  1. Purcell, Maud. The Health Benefits of Journaling. Pscych Central.
  2. Morin, Amy. 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round. Forbes. Nov 23, 2014.
Calliope Tsoukalas Nutrition Counselor/Health & Fitness Writer

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