DISCUSSION |   📅  published on 2023-09-25   |   🕒 5 min read   | Written by: Sara Hawat & Maria grubor 

Can ANYONE Start Journaling?

Journaling Is For Everyone - Just Choose Your Ideal Format!

We all have an inner voice that narrates our lives, expressing our deepest thoughts and feelings. But how often do we truly pause to listen? Journaling allows us to slow down, tune inward, and embark on a journey of self-exploration and healing.


At its core, journaling simply involves recording your inner experiences - putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to document your thoughts, emotions, dreams, ideas and anything else occupying your mind. Yet this simple act can yield profound benefits for mental health and personal growth.


You may think of journaling as just an age-old personal activity, but a growing body of research reveals its therapeutic value. Studies show that the practice of expressive writing can:


1. Process and relieve negative emotions like anxiety, depression, and trauma

2. Boost self-awareness, identity clarity, and introspection

3. Unlock new perspectives to solve problems more creatively

4. Enhance overall psychological well-being and life satisfaction


Even if you've never picked up a pen to journal before, the act of translating your internal monologue into words on a page can be incredibly cathartic. It creates a safe space where you can be fully authentic without judgment. Over time, patterns emerge that allow deep self-understanding.


Journaling is also an ancient mindfulness technique. As you focus inward and observe your thoughts arising, you cultivate present moment awareness. This grounds you in the here-and-now rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.


So if you have always wanted to start journaling but felt unsure of where to begin or maybe you've tried it in the past but struggled to stick with it, the good news is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to journaling. This deeply personal practice is meant to be exploratory and intuitive. The journey is about finding what resonates with you.


Some prefer the timeless simplicity of putting pen to paper, allowing thoughts to flow freely in cursive streams. Others are more drawn to digital journaling via mobile apps and note-taking programs for on-the-go convenience.


You can follow specific prompts and structures or let your words spill out in a consciousness stream. Visual journalers may prefer to write sparsely and communicate through drawings, doodles, photos, and mixed media. There are no limits to channelling your creativity! The key is finding the right format that resonates with your personality and allows for authentic expression. If writing feels difficult or unnatural, consider speaking your journal entries out loud. '


This might feel unnatural at first, however, self-talk is something that everyone does whether consciously or unconsciously. Self-talk is not merely a reflection of our thoughts and feelings; it's also a crucial tool for self-guidance and emotional regulation. In fact, from the moment we start developing cognitively, our internal dialogues begin to shape our perceptions and responses to the world around us. It is a healthy way to process thoughts and emotions and vocalising problems can also aid in finding new and creative solutions. 



So, if you're someone who prefers to vocalize your thoughts or struggles with writing freely, the Pokamind-platform, which uses AI to give you a journaling experience that would be worth exploring. This tool combines the best of both worlds - the cathartic release of vocalized self-expression and the mindful clarity of journaling. To get you started, while in the session it provides you with thoughtful prompts and questions based on what you would like to talk about and that are rooted in psychological principles to guide your self-reflection, whether you want to manage stress, boost motivation, process emotions, or pursue personal growth.

As you speak your unfiltered thoughts, feelings, and experiences in response to these prompts, Pokamind's AI technology analyses your speech patterns to understand your emotional state, mindset, and other psychological factors. This addition is to give you insights and guidance for the things that you are struggling with which a team of psychologists created to enhance your journaling experience and give you actionable insights to improve your well-being or extra support that you might need. So what the AI essentially does is to provide you personalized suggestions and supportive messages tailored to your needs in that moment. The good thing is also that you receive a summary of what you talked about which you can go back to any moment. 


So whether you're a seasoned journaler or interested in starting the life-changing practice, Pokamind makes it seamless to integrate mindful reflection into your modern lifestyle while providing unparalleled guidance which only takes about 5 minutes a day, making it low commitment and can be fit into your lifestyle 


After all, the journey of self-discovery and growth begins by simply listening to that inner voice. Why not have an AI life coach accompany you?


Sources 

Utley, Allison, and Yvonne Garza. “The Therapeutic Use of Journaling With Adolescents.” Journal of creativity in mental health 6.1 (2011): 29–41. Web. 

Guo L. The delayed, durable effect of expressive writing on depression, anxiety and stress: A meta-analytic review of studies with long-term follow-ups. Br J Clin Psychol. 2023 Mar;62(1):272-297. doi: 10.1111/bjc.12408. Epub 2022 Dec 19. PMID: 36536513.

Pennebaker, J.W. and Chung, C.K., 2011. Expressive writing and its links to mental and physical health. Oxford handbook of health psychology, pp.417-437.

Niles, A.N., Byrne Haltom, K.E., Lieberman, M.D., Hur, C. and Stanton, A.L., 2016. Writing content predicts benefit from written expressive disclosure: Evidence for repeated exposure and self-affirmation. Cognition and Emotion, 30(2), pp.258-274. 

Kompa, Nikola A., and Jutta L. Mueller. “Inner Speech as a Cognitive Tool-or What Is the Point of Talking to Oneself?” Philosophical psychology ahead-of-print.ahead-of-print (2022): 1–24. Web.