by Lesley Roberts

Whether written in a college-ruled notebook or in a beautiful leather-bound journal, writing out feelings, daydreams or ideas help to give a home on paper to something which is not otherwise tangible. Journaling ideas and thoughts also helps to give an outlet for various emotions. Whether you journal for relaxation, to get organized, for better introspection and concentration, or to hone your communication skills, the benefits of journaling are numerous.

Relaxation: People who feel angry often feel better after exercising or taking a break and counting to 10 to “cool off.” These are healthy outlets. The same is true for journaling as pen and paper or keyboard and screen give an outlet to emotion. Next time you’re feeling angry or overwhelmed, write it out and you will likely feel a whole lot better.

Organization: Being able to see written thoughts and ideas will often help you to sort out tangential thoughts. This is the reasoning behind “brain storming” before writing a term paper. So, get organized and write it out.

Introspection: Logging blood pressure numbers, blood sugar numbers, and how often you have a headache helps you to introspect on your physical health. You can then use this information to make lifestyle adjustments. Journaling about food or health aspects creates some accountability for you to reflect on your personal human experience. So, go learn about you and write it out.

Concentration: Channeling ideas and emotions to paper often helps us to see the importance and utility for staying in the moment. So much of life is chaotic and “busy.” Good work happens when we’re able to be fully immersed in the present moment. Distraction is the enemy of many good works that could have been great if not left unfinished. Channel, focus, be there with pen and paper or keyboard and screen and really take to writing it out. You might just be smarter for it.

Communication: We have all heard the phrase “practice makes perfect.” This is the concept behind the written speech which is practiced again and again before the presentation. This can be true for normal conversation as well. If you are struggling or wrestling with a certain topic with another person, then write out those bothersome feelings. Hopefully you will be able to then tame those feelings in a constructive way for a much more appropriate and succinct form of expression. You may even be able to tap into a much calmer and centered demeanor for this previously dreaded encounter. Take the time to write it out and reap the benefits of the emotional growth.

Lesley Roberts is a Certified Physician Assistant at Family Healthcare of Post Falls and is being mentored in Integrative Medicine by Michael Oglesbay, DO. For more information, visit TheHormoneDr.com or call 208-773-1311.