Many kids and teenagers grow up keeping a secret diary stashed somewhere in their room. It was a way of expressing their thoughts and feelings without having to worry about other people judging them. Their diary may have served as a sort of confidant that helped them understand the world around them more clearly. While you might have considered keeping a journal or diary as something that was just for fun as a kid, journaling can have tremendous mental health benefits and is a great tool to carry into adulthood. It is a way to get your jumbled thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Suppose you struggle with any mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Distress Disorder), or bipolar disorder. In that case, journaling can be especially helpful in working your stress in a productive way and better understanding how you’re feeling. Consider making journaling a part of your daily life starting today.
The Mental Health Benefits of Journaling
If you need more motivation to pick up the practice of journaling, consider some of the following benefits.
#1.) Journaling allows you to prioritize your fears and feeling. Throughout the day, you may find yourself stuffing your emotions down deep inside of you in order to not only be able to function enough to take care of your daily tasks but also out of fear of what others may think of you. When you journal, you can finally let these fears out onto the page and give them the attention. This can be a very cathartic experience as it allows for you to finally release these emotions you have been holding onto.
#2.) Journaling can provide you with a different perspective. Often our fears can snowball in our heads, even reaching the point of becoming irrational. When you work through how you’re feeling through journaling, you may find that these fears do not pose an actual problem and that what you’re afraid of is very unlikely to happen.
#3.) Journaling helps you to become more self-aware. It is easy to rush through the day, going from one thing to the next without taking the time to consider how you’re feeling. When you journal, you can track the ups and downs of your mental state, and you may even be able to find patterns or better understand what possible triggers in your life are impacting your mental health.
#4.) Journaling allows for positive self-talk. It helps you understand what negative habits or thought processes you need to address in order to improve your mental health.
#5.) When you journal, you have the opportunity to work through how you feel before you talk about them to someone else. For example, if you had a fight with a friend, you can work through any anger and resentment before confronting them, thus decreasing the chance that you might explode or say something you don’t mean.
Starting the Journaling Process
If you want to start journaling but have never done so before and don’t know where to start, consider the following tips:
#1.) Get yourself a journal. This could be a physical notebook you’ll write in by hand, or it can be a document you keep on your phone or computer. Just remember to keep it somewhere where anyone else won’t find it.
#2.) Don’t feel like you have to follow any specific rules. This journal is for your benefit, not anybody else’s. So you can use it any way that you find fit. Write anything that pops into your head. You may even consider doodling in it if that helps you work through your thoughts.
#3.) Try to stay consistent with it. If you can work journaling into a specific part of your daily routine so that you’ll be more likely to remember to do it. It may be especially beneficial to do it before bed because it allows you to work through your emotions before going to sleep, creating a more restful mental space.
#4.) Make it an enjoyable experience. You might consider lighting a candle while you’re journaling, sipping a cup of tea, listening to calming music, or even using fun pens.
Continue to Practice Other Stress-Relieving Habits
While journaling has many benefits, you’ll want to continue practicing additional ways to care for your mental health. This involves getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and working with a therapist if necessary. Some other additional self-care methods could include yoga, spending time out in nature, taking a walk, or taking a break from social media.
While you may have journaled just for fun when you were a kid, journaling actually has quite a few benefits and is worth continuing during adulthood. Journaling can be especially beneficial if you struggle with a mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. Journaling allows you to prioritize your concerns and emotions, work through how you’re feeling, and provide you with a new perspective. It can also help you track your mental state and recognize different factors that may affect your feelings. When you’re journaling, don’t worry about following any rules but write whatever you want. You can even doodle if you want to. Try to stay consistent with this practice and make it as an enjoyable experience as possible. At Achieve Concierge, we want to help you achieve better mental health. Call (858) 221-0344 today to learn more.