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10 Jan, 2020

5 stress-relieving benefits of diary writing from the stationery experts at Papier

With digital calendars, space for notes and mental health apps so readily accessible on our phones, the thought of keeping a handwritten diary or journal seems unnecessary today. But a wealth of research shows that there are several mental and physical health benefits of putting pen to paper to write about your day. Here Papier explains the stress-relieving virtues of diary writing and why journaling has never felt more key.


1. It whisks you away from your screen

Whether you spend two minutes or two hours filling out your diary, dedicating the time to write an entry offers some (usually much-needed) time away from our screens. Staring at a paper page is much kinder to the eyes than LED light and gives us the opportunity to retreat to a calm space to write. Find a place where you can feel completely relaxed and free to express yourself – for example, a bench in your favourite park, a quiet coffee shop or tucked up in bed.

2. Aids clear thinking and a fresh perspective

Noting down your thoughts each day (the positive and the negative) allows us to untangle emotions from our thoughts. There’s no right or wrong way to keep a diary – scribe each paragraph carefully or scribble a short sentence or symbolic doodle at speed. Either way, you’ll find a cathartic release in expressing what’s truly on your mind, which will enable you to think clearly and introduce a new perspective on your behaviour and goals.

3. Helps track triggers of negative mental health

Writing is a great way to recognise patterns in our lives. Reflect back on your words to spot days where you were feeling worried or overwhelmed, and look out for what might have caused these feelings. Your pages will give you the insight to spot any negative mental health triggers, which in turn you can make an effort to control. Equally, look back on days where you felt your happiest and identify what made you feel this way.

4. Gives us an opportunity to be grateful

Writing down one thing you’re grateful for is a simple, effective way to remind yourself of the things that matter most. It helps us to focus on something positive, detracting our minds from sources of stress. (Recalling the events of your day will also help to keep your memory sharp.) Try jotting down something you’ve really appreciated each day before bed, such as a friend who checked in on you, a beautiful, fresh meal you enjoyed or some new music you discovered. This small act of gratitude means you’ll end every day on a good note, appreciating the little things in life that you may have previously taken for granted.

5. Improves immune function and function of liver

It’s proven that keeping a written diary has physical as well as mental health benefits. A study by New Zealand researchers in 2013 found that writing a journal helped biopsy patients’ wounds to heal faster (possibly by improving sleep) and writing for just 15 to 20 minutes a day three to five times over a four-month period was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality. A paper in the British Journal of Health Psychology (September 2013) also found that writing about an emotional subject lowered participants' cortisol levels.

Want to establish a lasting habit of putting pen to paper? Our Ultimate Reset is based around our 4 pillars of health: mental clarity, movement, good sleep and improved mood. The programme includes 20 days of healthy and delicious food delivered to your door, with some very exciting gifts, including a Papier 2020 diary to support your writing habits. Click HERE to find out more.

Ready to de-stress and put pen to paper? Pick and personalise your own notebook at Papier.