How Journaling for Your Mental Health Helps

Jan 3, 2023 | Right Now

How Journaling for Your Mental Health Helps

One of the many ways to unload your thoughts is through journaling. How journaling helps your mental health is incredible, and you will learn about it in this post. 

What is Journaling? 

When you write down your thoughts and feelings is called journaling [1]. There are no rules when you write down your journal, and exercising this every day can help release any pent-up emotions. 

Journaling is also an excellent way to track your everyday life and determine what made us upset or happy. Creating a meaningful connection with ourselves is just as important as making connections with other people. What’s great about this is that you only need a pen and a notebook to write down your thoughts. 

How to Start Journaling for Your Mental Health

It is easy to get upset or depressed about things these days. And most of the time, we end up bottling up these emotions. Journaling is a great way to release the stress that we are feeling. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Start with a small piece of paper.

If you are not used to writing your thoughts yet, you can start small. Try writing on a piece of paper first. You don’t have to write anything long; maybe a few lines will do. 

2. Be consistent about journaling. 

The more you practice journaling, the easier it gets. Let your thoughts flow as you write them down. Pick a time when you can write, maybe before you go to bed or the moment you wake up. Either way, go with what works for you. 

3. You can write or draw how you feel.

Again, there is no concrete way to do journaling. You can write what you are thinking or express it through drawing. Both are suitable types of journaling for your mental health. 

4. Be creative.

You can choose to write your thoughts conversationally, or you can plot a story or write poetry, a letter, compose a song, or whatever feels right to you. You can even add stickers, prompts, cards or quotes to your journal. Again, there is no rule on how you want your journal to be. The important thing is that you can express yourself through it. 

5. Try a gratitude journal.

When you do not know what to write, you can always write down what you are thankful for. Being grateful for your life, family, or friends is enough topic to start your journals.  

6. A journal is all that.

Journaling is a way to express your thoughts and feelings. It is not a substitute for a therapist or doctor. If venting in a journal does not help your mental health, seeing a professional is always a great idea. 

Benefits of Journaling for Your Mental Health

Stress is part of our daily lives and activities. We cannot avoid them all the time. Whether you are feeling burned out from work, stressed at school, or upset with the people around you, journaling has a way of helping your mental health. Here’s how:

1. It reduces anxiety. 

Putting your feelings into writing is believed to reduce mental distress. A study found out that people who spend time journaling have increased feelings of well-being than those who do not. Journaling at least three times a week for fifteen minutes over the next 12 weeks each day can help elevate moods and reduce negative emotions. 

2. Journaling teaches you to be self-aware.

Writing down thoughts helps you realize the situation. It also gives you a better understanding of yourself and identifies negative emotions. When you know your feelings and the problem at hand, you can calmly approach things [2]

3. It encourages you to open up more about your feelings. 

Journaling helps your mental health by encouraging you to open your pent-up emotions. Sometimes, we harbor feelings that come out later on. And when these feelings come out, it can be a bad experience. So, before you keep more negative emotions, journaling helps you release tension in a good way. 

4. Journaling helps you cope with depression.

There are times when no one can understand how we truly feel. It can be depressing. However, journaling helps you cope by writing down your thoughts. It is a suitable medium for venting and expressing how you really feel. 

5. It helps identify your triggers. 

Knowing what sets you off is crucial. It can help you work on ways not to let these triggers affect you. Journaling is one way that can help identify these triggers. It is easier to find solutions when you know what makes you angry or annoyed. 

6. Journaling allows you to know yourself better.

Your journals can help you know who you indeed are by laying down all your thoughts. It also enables you to identify your good and bad sides, which is crucial in developing your personality. Through journaling, you can express everything and anything [3]

7. It allows you to see problems from a new perspective. 

Reading your journal gives you a third-person point of view. You begin to understand the situation better, giving you the chance to change them. Journaling helps your mental health assess the problems and perhaps, formulate a way to figure out a solution, whatever it may be. 

In Closing

If you haven’t tried journaling yet, it is best to try it now. It will help relieve your stress. Always remember to take care of your mental health. Just remember, writing a journal is not the final solution to all your problems. If you are still struggling with your mental health, we recommend seeking professional help immediately.