How can we improve our daily well-being? Sometimes simple methods available to everyone can be beneficial to our mental health. Like writing. According to an expert, all it takes is a pen, a piece of paper and six minutes to improve our day and make us happy, or at least more peaceful.
Writing a diary as an adult may seem a thing of the past in the digital age. But this ritual as old as time can prove useful to face certain days. Writing coach and editor Alison Jones recommends writing freely for six minutes every day. “Set your timer for six minutes, ask yourself a question and write your answer with a pencil or pen on a notepad without stopping“, she explains to Stylist. The goal? To externalize all the emotions of the day, and to take a step back.
The benefits of journaling
The expert advises writing in a notebook or on a blank sheet of paper, rather than your favorite notebook. The goal is not to write something pretty or perfect. The whole point of the exercise, she explains, lies in the “disorder and honesty”. This exercise should allow you to write freely without self-censorship. For those who are computer enthusiasts, keyboards should be banned. “It’s a brain-hand connection, the last thing you need is a spell check to correct you or a notification popping up to distract you“.
This technique takes up the concept of “journaling”, a trend observed earlier this year. Journaling is writing down your thoughts and feelings every day, at any time. This habit can become a mental refuge for those who need it. An effective way to help people better understand their emotions.
Good in his body, good in his head!
Ideal for better managing stress and insomnia?
Letting your subconscious speak has many virtues. This allows you to put your thoughts in order, but also to take a step back from negative emotions. For insomniacs, six minutes of daily writing could also be a remedy for falling asleep more easily. “If you can’t sleep, it can turn your anxiety into thoughts and action plans“, adds the writing coach. In case of overload, this little creative and exploratory bubble offers a moment of calm. “You can reconnect with your breathing and your senses“.
Research from the University of Rochester had already shown that journaling could help, among other things, manage stress, reduce anxiety, and cope with depression. It has also been proven that keeping a daily gratitude journal can improve sleep quality and mood, strengthen relationships with others, and reduce symptoms of physical pain.