Journaling is an excellent way to make logical connections between you and your thoughts. If you find yourself struggling with stress, depression, and/or anxiety—journaling may be a task to consider implementing into your daily routine. Simply writing down your thoughts and feelings allows you to process your stream of consciences in a meditative and healthy alternative to coping with these mental strains. In this post, we’ll dive into some of the benefits of journaling and best practices to help get you started.
Recent studies have shown that journaling is a helpful tool in managing your mental health, citing patients are actively reducing stress, coping with depression, and managing anxiety. With a journal, you will be able to prioritize the concerns that are weighing on you. Writing down your thoughts and triggers every day can make them easier to identify and, in turn, provide you with an opportunity to be proactive with your negative thoughts and behaviors. Keep in mind that journaling is not the only aspect of living a healthy lifestyle, but implementing the daily practice of journaling has the potential to be massively beneficial for your mental health.
Taking the necessary steps to reflect on your mental health is essential to making a plan for positivity moving forward. Setting aside time to just focus on your thoughts and unwind is an easy 15-20 minute task that can be done while drinking your morning coffee or before you lay down to sleep. Turning this habit into a long-term behavior will lead to you becoming more in tune with your mental health, invoke mindfulness, and inspire confidence that the management of personal adversity is possible.
Now that you know the benefits of regular journaling, here are some best practices that can help you get started:
- Make it easy: You don’t have to make this task complicated. Simply have a notebook and pen (or word document on a computer) dedicated for journaling. Have them be easily accessible in an area where you want to journal. Try to be consistent with your writing routine. This helps to make it a habit and a priority in your life.
- Use your journal as you see fit: You are not obligated to share the contents of your journal to anyone, nor do you have to execute writing in the same style every day. Maybe you are stressed in work, and free-writing solutions on a page will help bring clarity. Perhaps something amazing happened in your day, and you want to remember it. There are no rules when it comes to journaling—you can use it however you’d like to best enhance your mental clarity.
- Write whatever feels right: Your journal doesn’t need to follow a particular form—just write. You could:
- Make a list
- Chart your thoughts
- Diary entry
Letting the words flow freely makes for a more organic approach to how you are feeling instead. This is your own private space to collect your thoughts without having to share. Don’t worry if it’s messy, has spelling/grammar errors, or what others might think. This is for you.
Keeping a journal can help foster a space to free your mind of racing thoughts when your life is in chaos. Journaling can also hold all of the good that happened in throughout your day.You should feel empowered to process your experiences in a private area. Reveal your most pressing fears, thoughts, feelings, and obligations. Journaling offers a non-formal way to execute healthy control over your emotional stressors and can help you focus on the moment, rather than feeling overwhelmed by everything going on in life. Give it a try and let us know how it has made a change in your daily routine you!