Digital Journaling: Redefining Journaling for Mental Health
By: Melissa Camacho
Digital journals are written and published, in electronic formats which can be saved and retrieved, unlike traditional journaling which is writing and revealing your thoughts onto paper (What is an Electronic Journal?). Digital journaling redefines journaling for mental health by allowing you to journal your emotions in an interactive virtual environment. It provides you with multimedia tools to journal your emotions, thoughts, events, and ideas (Altenwerth). These multimedia tools include a combination of audio, video, text, and images. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Any type of journaling, including digital journaling, serves your purpose to transform feelings of pain, grief, trauma, and heartbreak into passion.
In this article, we will go over the unique advantages of digital journaling as a way to explore and expand your journaling options.
How Digital Journaling Relates to Mental Health Benefits of Traditional Journaling
Traditional journaling reduces symptoms of stress, grief, anger, anxiety, and depression by providing you with a personal space to focus, clarify, and elaborate on your emotions (Siegel-Acevedo). Expressing our emotions through journaling or expressive writing transcends to positive effects of mental and physical health in any medium. Likewise, digital journaling produces similar outcomes to relieve emotional distress with the use of interactive tools to create, organize, sort, and retrieve your journal entries (Knight). This is an efficient way to share your journal entries and set up your own virtual space to review your journals. In the next section, you will learn how digital journaling tools play a role in improving your mental health.
How Advanced Digital Journaling Tools Improve Mental Health
Digital journaling platforms and online journals offer ways for you to manage and easily access your journals, such as customizing your privacy settings (“How to Keep a Journal Private”). According to Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Elias Aboujaude, MD, privacy is essential to psychologically protect yourself from harmful interference or judgment from others. In addition, it provides you with your own personal space to explore your self-identity (Erickson). When you apply privacy settings, such as creating a username and password to access your journal entries, you reduce your risk of having private information publicly exposed. Privacy settings can further prevent you from experiencing judgement or harm from others, especially cyberbullying.
Using your creativity to reflect on your emotions through digital journaling also improves your mental health (Perronne’-Britt). Experimenting with media or various art forms, helps to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression by releasing a chemical known as dopamine, which increases happy moods and thoughts (Paauw). This means when you engage in using interactive features of digital journaling, such as text and images, it enhances your self-expression by allowing you to expand your creative abilities.
You don’t need to be an artist to create your journal on a multimedia journaling site or platform. It’s a creative technique that involves art therapy to help you relax your mind by using digital media to connect with your emotions (“How Can Art Therapy Relieve Stress”). Traditionally, art therapy is a therapeutic method to help people connect with their emotions through various art forms, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, music, and expressive writing, which works to reduce stress and boost self-esteem (“Art Therapy”).
How Art Therapy Integrates with Multimedia in Digital Journaling
In today’s digital technology, practitioners in art therapy are steadily acknowledging how multimedia reduces related symptoms of trauma and depression (Malchiodi). Cathy Malchiodi’s study for art therapy proves how digital journaling is impacted by the effects of multimedia. Multimedia in digital journaling allows you to merge your creative abilities with expressive writing and digital art. It can be more productive than journaling on paper due to multimedia capabilities to create interactive content which enhances your self-expression and adds meaning to your story (“Is It Better To Write Or Type A Journal?”). Art therapy in multimedia helps you engage in creative self-expression and strengthens your mental health.
As you use multimedia tools in digital journaling, your thoughts and emotions are expressed through a visual narrative. As a result, your creativity and self-expression minimizes symptoms of stress, anxiety, trauma, and depression.
The Love Story’s expressive writing program entails art therapy to help people transform pain and heartbreak into passion by connecting with their emotions through interactive journaling and publishing.
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