Did you know that scientists over the last several decades have demonstrated that writing helps your physical health? Different studies have shown that writing can have the following effects on your health:

  • Decrease the heart rate
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Manage stress
  • Enhance breathing

Here are three important principles for how to use journal writing for your health:

  1. Write about significant, meaningful events–not superficial stuff. Don’t just write about what you did. Write about how you feel. Write about issues that are important to you. Write about people, projects, and things that are dear to your heart.
  2. Don’t just write the same thing over and over–get a new perspective. You might want to imagine yourself looking at the situation 10 years from now. You might want to change your perspective to another person in the scenario. Get creative about how you view an issue.
  3. Try to shift from emotional to analytical–or vice versa. If you are an emotional person, write about the emotions–then shift to an analytic approach. If you are by nature an analytic person, then after a couple of paragraphs, consciously shift to writing about your emotions.

If you want to doing journal writing for your health, remember these three simple guidelines.

Written by Ruth Folit