Why journaling helps people
When I lived in France as an exchange student, I wrote over 1000 pages in my journal. When I lived in Morocco, I wrote dozens of journals. I’ve kept some semblance of a journal since 4th grade—writing more some years than others. I always know when I’m “going through something.” Journaling pops back to the forefront of my life.
This study is fascinating to me. It clarifies why journaling helps people. Writing helps us tell our story back to ourselves. It helps us put the emotions and experiences into a meaningful context.
You might try this with your own children. I remember how Noah struggled with big emotions after particularly meaningful experiences in his life (sleep away camp, performing in a play, a great vacation). He’d get swamped by the feelings and didn’t know what to do with them.
I suggested he keep a “special occasions” journal. He could write his memories while they were fresh and then reread them any time he wanted to revisit those precious experiences. It worked…and he still has that journal to this day.