The benefits of journaling: Episode Notes
Journaling is a practice that has been proven to be very effective for both our body and our mind.
In fact, according to a few authoritative studies, expressive writing (which includes journaling) can lower blood pressure, improve immune system functionality and positively affect our mood, among other things.
In this episode of the Stepsero podcast we host Amánda Efthimiou, Mental Health Advocate, Writer, and Entrepreneur, to discuss some benefits of journaling, as well as different approaches to it, including poetry.
Here are some highlights from our discussion:
- According to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, the chemical processes that are provoked by our emotions end within 90 seconds. Everything that happens after that is the result of the stories that you tell yourself.
Based on this, journaling could help label your emotions, and ultimately allow you to regulate and balance your feelings.
- A gratitude journal can be a great way to start, and it can be as simple as writing three things that you are grateful for in the morning.
- Writing in free flow for just 15-20 minutes can be a very liberating act, even if you don’t read again what has been written. This is not limited to only creative writers, but rather to anyone who wants to experiment with different forms of writing and journaling.
- Bullet-points can also be useful, especially when compiling a list of things you want to get done on a specific day, as well as the feeling you want to have by the time you go to sleep.
Companies can also benefit from bullet journaling, as their employees can use this method to prioritize their goals and plan their week better.
- For Amanda, poetry is a great way to interpret her thoughts and give them a special meaning. Given its peculiar form, poetry allows her to express herself in a more articulated way compared to more traditional forms of journaling.
Our Guest: Amanda Efthimiou
Amanda Efthimiou is a mental health advocate, writer, and community creator. She founded I.ÁM with a mission to help people design their lives around caring for their mental health. As part of her passion for nurturing communities through experiences, she’s now built a network of women around the world who use I.ÁM’s core principles to refocus conversations on women’s healing, psychedlic therapy and integration.
She also uses poetry and creative fiction as an artistic practice to highlight the shared human experiences of our inner states and to spark conversations about mental health. Her writing has been published in online publications such as The Mighty and Designing the Next Decade, and her poetry was recently featured in a Lisbon-based art exhibition. She’s currently also pursuing her MSc in Psychology & Neuroscience of Mental Health at King’s College, London.