How Grief Journaling can Benefit You

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, June 12, 2023

There are many ways to work through and process grief. Often, they require you to be comfortable with talking through your emotions with others. And while that can be cathartic, it may not work for everyone. Journaling your grief, however, can be a good way to confront your feelings while getting them out into the open. Whether you type it out or put pen to paper, there are a number of benefits to journaling your grief. This article will discuss the benefits of grief journaling, and how it might be a good process for your grief.

What to Write About

Finding something to write about can be challenging, especially if you are overwhelmed by emotion. Consider buying a grief journal, which may have prompts on each page. You may also be able to find prompts online. Consider writing about some of your favorite memories of the deceased. You could also write about how you are feeling today. Try documenting how your grief has affected you this week. Alternatively, you could try to free-write. Just let your mind wander and keep writing.

Grief Journaling and Routines

Routines help us feel a sense of normalcy in our life, especially after a major life change. Writing about your feelings can require energy and motivation, which may not always be there. But, setting aside time to journal gives you a chance to focus on the task. While writing about painful feelings can seem intimidating, journaling has been shown to improve motivation, well-being, and overall energy levels. Taking the time to create a routine out of your journaling process can help you have the motivation and energy to do more overall. Whether you write every day or once a week, developing a routine around it can be beneficial.

Journaling Reduces Avoidance

It can be easy to try to push away feelings of grief and pain. Many people would rather bottle up feelings until they explode, instead of talking about them. Avoidance works as a temporary solution, but eventually grief bubbles back to the surface. Journaling helps you confront and work through grief, rather than spending energy avoiding it.
Documenting your grief can help you cope without just pushing it all away. Journaling your feelings and grief-related experiences can help you confront your emotions and work through them.

Physical Health Benefits of Grief Journaling

Studies have shown that writing about difficult emotions or tragic experiences can actually benefit you physically. According to these studies, stress indicators, such as heart rate and blood pressure are affected by journaling grief. While they may rise during the journaling process, the studies show that afterward, stress indicators were lower than when the subject started.

Mental Health Benefits and Grief Journaling

Along with physical benefits, journaling is shown to help with mental health. Writing helps reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Getting your feelings and thoughts out and onto paper can help reduce stress and can be incredibly beneficial, psychologically. 

Working on Your Grief Can Positively Impact Sleep Cycles

Grief can affect your sleep patterns for a variety of reasons. Stress and depression can cause people to sleep too much or too little. Or it can make sleep very restless. Writing or talking about your emotions can help you get a better night’s sleep because it reduces stress and helps you cope with your grief. 

Writing Builds Skill

The beautiful thing about journaling is that it has the extra value of skill-building. Much like any skill, the more you write, the more you will improve at it. Grief journaling can help you become a better writer overall. Writing is a skill that can be beneficial in almost any profession, and it never hurts to improve a skill. 

Finding Coping Methods that Work For You

Not every coping mechanism for grief works for everyone. Because everyone experiences grief in a different way, it is important to find a methodology that benefits you. If you need help discovering grief coping methods that can work for you, consider speaking with a therapist or professional grief counselor. 

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are a number of resources out there. For our Grief Resource center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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