Keeping a diary -lots of pros and no cons

Morning all, I’m still ploughing my way through the School of Life series and have just started How To Stay Sane by Philippa Perry. Below is a mind map done by Sarah McIntyre after a live session with Philippa Perry and her link is below.

The idea that has caught my eye so far is Perry’s comments about diary-keeping and in summary:

a study in which half the participants kept a diary and half did not demonstrated the positive effects of writing something down about yourself each day

Diarists reported better moods and fewer moments of distress than non-diarists.

Those, in the same study, who kept a journal following trauma or bereavement also reported fewer flashbacks, nightmares and unexpected difficult memories.

Writing can itself be an act of emotional processing so it can help in many situations of danger,extremity and loss of control.

People who keep diaries are admitted o hospital less often and spend fewer days there than those who do not.

Research shows that liver function and blood pressure are improved in diarists.

Diary-keeping has shown to positively affect several aspects of the immune system-including T cell growth and certain anti body responses.

Studies have shown that people who regularly keep daily “gratitude ” diaries, in which they list things for which they are grateful, report increased satisfaction with their lives and relationships. 

Perry however, is keen on diary-keeping because it is a useful tool for developing self-observation (as distinct from navel-gazing…). Her tips are as follows:

  • keep it simple and honest
  • what you write is up to you
  • random memories, thoughts and feelings, dreams
  • If you can’t think what to write just keep writing to see what emerges
  • write in longhand and record anything that comes into your head.

Good luck, I hope you let me know if you keep a diary or whether you are going to start one now. FG




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