Journaling: Benefits

 

Good morning!! I hope you were able to incorporate some of the stretches from yesterday’s post! Today’s topic will be part 1 of 3 posts about journaling!

I want you to imagine a few different scenarios. Think about walking out of your workplace after a particularly taxing day. Your client went back to their abuser. You had to remove a child from their home. You have yet another client who was raped.

You sit in your car and wonder, “Is this profession really for me? Am I really making any positive changes in someone’s life?” These thoughts continue to churn as you come home, causing your mind to be somewhere else, instead of where it belongs, with your family. All you can think about is your clients and the problems they face.

I’m going to give you a method to release all of those thoughts that threaten your mental and emotional sanity: Journaling. This is a great way for you to express all of the thoughts and emotions that cloud your mind.

  1. The biggest benefit of journaling after a difficult day at work is that it is extremely cathartic.
    • It’s a space for you to converse with yourself. No one is there to judge you. You can write everything down- your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings, your biases, your struggles. That, in itself, reduces stress.
  2. Another benefit of journaling is that your brain automatically starts categorizing and processing the whirlwind in your mind.
    • Suddenly, everything is less muddled and confusing.
  3. Journaling evokes mindfulness!
    • Think about it. When writing, you’re focusing on the present moment. Thought after thought, you’re just writing. It’s like your mind and your hand are in sync. You’re not thinking about what to have for dinner or if the waffle fries you had for lunch were a good idea. You’re being mindful of your thoughts and focusing solely on them.
  4. Journaling helps with your self-confidence.
    • When you write about a positive experience (the joy you felt when one of your clients got a job or found affordable housing) you’re letting your brain relive that experience. This releases the feel good neurotransmitters, elevating your mood.

To summarize, journaling is dumping all of your thoughts onto paper. 1) It lessens the burden emotionally trying thoughts can have on you and then 2) helps you analyze your thoughts in a 3) mindful manner. 4) it reinforces the TRUTH that you are an amazing social worker, activist, feminist, care giver and human being.

Keep being awesome and see you in tomorrow’s post where we’ll talk about types of journaling that could help you.

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thai-nguyen/benefits-of-journaling-_b_6648884.html

https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/

http://rossifox.com/quotes-about-journal-writing/

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