How Journaling Helps With Mental Clarity
Your mind is cluttered. You say you're "OK" but really you spent all day stressing about work, finances, vacation time, and whether or not she's going to go on a second date with you.
We've all been there.
Looking at your list on to-do's, knowing you have an endless amount of work to be done.
It begins to settle in; overwhelm, stress, anxiety.
You're fine, but your mind is cluttered with things you need to get done.
You have an idea of what needs to be done but can't seem to get clear on the daily steps that need to be checked off in order to ensure progress.
And the great news is you can fix it. You can transform this mental clutter into mental clarity in only a few minutes.
Journaling for Mental Clarity
Journaling is a great way to help with mental clarity. Journaling can include journaling about your goals, journaling about what you did in the day or journaling about an event that happened. What writing in a journal does is help you process your thoughts and feelings, which will help create more mental clarity for you!
Journaling effects on the brain have been studied in 2002 and journaling was found to increase mental clarity.
What they found was that when we put our feelings into words, we reduce the response in the amygdala while activating the brains prefrontal region. “In the same way you hit the break when you’re driving and you see a yellow light,” said study authors, “when you put feelings into words, you seem to be hitting the brakes on your emotional responses.”
In addition, a recent study found that resting your brain by writing about your thoughts and emotions may help alleviate mental clarity.
What Neuroscience Has to Say About Mental Clarity
A recent study from researchers at Brown University Hospital tested Buddhist teachings against modern neuroscience, finding that the mindfulness practices of journaling and meditation could calm the amygdala - which is activated when humans are in a heightened state of fear or anxiety.
The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, encourages journalers to "set down their feelings about the events and people who touch them." This could be beneficial for someone whose mental clarity is being impacted by strong emotions such as anger, anxiety, overwhelm, stress, frustration, sadness, or jealousy.
Journaling also helps with managing stress levels by reducing the amount of cortisol that is released into your bloodstream, which will help you feel more calm. Reaching a state of calmness is important for mental clarity. Often times, it is when we are highly stressed that our mental clarity is greatly impacted.
If journaling doesn't work for you, try mindfulness meditation or even exercise to help lower your stress and create more mental clarity in your life.
Because of the effect that journaling has on the brain, many times when you feel extremely overwhelmed journaling for just a few minutes can help you feel better.
Taking just a few minutes a day to write your goals, answer a journal prompt, or gratitude journal is a simple fix to mental clarity that we all need sometimes.
If you'd like to begin your journey to mental clarity click here