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

The Therapeutic Power of Journaling 

Old Practice, New Formats: Introducing Video Journaling

Journaling has long been touted as a powerful tool for mental health and personal growth. The simple act of writing down our innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences can provide clarity, insight, and greater self-awareness. An increasing body of research is now demonstrating just how beneficial journaling can be.


Promotes Emotional Processing

Several studies have shown that expressive writing - putting inner experiences into words - can help us process and work through negative emotions. One analysis found that journaling decreased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. By externalizing distressing thoughts and feelings onto paper, we relieve some of their heavy weight from within us.


Increases Self-Awareness

Beyond concrete health perks, journaling can simply provide a sense of catharsis. The ability to pour your uncensored thoughts onto the page is therapeutic in and of itself. Knowing that a journal is a safe space for private feelings often allows more authentic self-expression. Through the process of having an intimate conversation with ourselves, we can gain insight into our patterns of thought, behaviour, and motivation. Several studies have shown that reflective writing increases self-knowledge and clarifies one's identity. Journaling helps us tune into our inner voice.


Supports Problem Solving

Writing things down provides more clarity than just thinking them. By journaling, we can see problems from new angles and come up with creative solutions. Research shows that writing about challenges helps generate alternative viewpoints and identify potential ways forward. Journaling boosts organization and decision-making.


Enhances Psychological Well-Being

Expressive writing has been linked to numerous indicators of psychological health, including life satisfaction, happiness, mood, and hope. A 2022 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that expressive writing about stressful events helped reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Participants wrote for 15-20 minutes a day over 3 consecutive days about a traumatic experience. The research showed that this brief journaling intervention led to significant improvements in mood and psychological wellbeing.


Additional research illustrates how maintaining a journal can reinforce learning and improve working memory. The process of documenting experiences aids long-term retention and the ability to recall information. Students who journaled about academic content showed better grasp of the material compared to those who did not.


While traditionally journaling involves writing down one's thoughts and feelings, PokaMind is introducing an innovative and engaging approach - video journaling. But that's not all; this unique method is backed by the power of Artificial Intelligence.


Our AI-based video journaling platform is not just about recording your thoughts and feelings; it's about providing you with insightful feedback and advice. This advice is rooted in proven psychological methodologies to ensure the highest level of support for your mental well-being.

Users are provided thoughtful prompt suggestions to spark introspection on topics ranging from goal setting to managing anxiety. As users speak openly in response to the prompts, Pokamind's artificial intelligence detects linguistic patterns related to mood, motivation, stress levels, and more. These AI insights allow Pokamind to deliver personalized recommendations and summaries from each journaling session, helping the user gain clarity and track their emotional wellbeing.


What sets our platform apart is that it's not solely reliant on algorithms. Our team of experienced psychologists supervises the AI to ensure that the advice provided is accurate, relevant, beneficial and is based on clinically validated psychological approaches.


One advantage of video journaling is that it may feel more natural for some people who struggle to write freely. Speaking your reflections out loud can promote stream-of-consciousness expression and deeper insights. In fact, talking to yourself out loud is extremely common. While the frequency varies from person to person, we all engage in internal dialogues. 

Self-talk is not merely a reflection of our thoughts and feelings; it's a crucial tool for self-guidance and emotional regulation. 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. 


While written journaling certainly has its benefits, tools like PokaMind demonstrate the value of adapting journaling to modern formats to combine the benefits of thinking aloud and journaling. As technology evolves, there is potential to integrate journaling seamlessly into our everyday digital routines. The core therapeutic premise remains the same, while removing barriers to make it more convenient and personalized.


No matter the format used, the research clearly validates journaling as an impactful route to self-discovery and healing. Carving out even a few minutes a day for intentional reflection can yield powerful dividends for mind, body and spirit.


So, step into the future of self-reflection and personal growth with Pokamind's AI-supported video journaling. Experience a new level of understanding, guidance, and support in your personal journey.


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.