How can journaling help improve trauma?

tree image that looks like a brain, to say journaling can help your brain deal with trauma

Can journaling help improve trauma?

Writing about challenges and traumatic experiences appears to improve health, mood and enhance recovery from both mental and physical trauma. There is a theory that holding back strong emotions, thoughts and feelings, can in itself be stressful. Disclosing your deepest feelings, especially about bad experiences is good for health.

  • Have you ever felt relief after sharing a worry or secret with someone, only to later regret your moment of openness?
  • Do you worry that unloading your problems on a family member or friend will in-turn overburden them?
  • In the past, have you discussed innermost concerns with others, yet found your deep-seated trauma still remains?

How does journaling help?

See your journal as your trusted confidante – it’s your own private journal. Only you will read it unless you choose to share.

Research shows that people who very vividly describe (in written form) or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times as likely to successfully accomplish their goals and objectives than those who don’t. When you’re living with mental, physical or emotional trauma, writing can facilitate you on your road to recovery.


Write openly, honestly and in detail about your worries, difficulties or trauma.


Writing about challenges honestly and in detail, results in you having a clear account of what’s bothering you which will help untangle the thoughts in your head. This can bring a fresh perspective and a more positive mindset.


As you journal, dig-deep and write about how you feel, how your personal trauma is affecting your life. Write down absolutely everything that comes to mind.


This will help you accept how you feel – an important step on your road to recovery.


Write down every single option you can think of that might help you – whether you plan on actioning them or not.


This action opens your mind to possibilities. The more possibilities you consider, the more likely you are to find potential solutions.

And finally…

Writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for even through your trauma, helps take your mind off your worries and you’ll start to feel more positive.

Writing for 15-20 minutes each day for as little as four days has been found to provide health benefits. Your mindset will be different each day, you’ll notice different feelings and will be open to more possibilities.


Opening Up by Writing it Down, James W. Pennebaker PhD, Joshua M Smyth PhD

Mark Murphy, “Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want to Achieve Them,” Forbes, April 15, 2018,

Waywords Journals guided journals are designed to help make your journaling easier and more effective.