Journaling is considered as documentation of your thoughts and feelings. As you write a journal to take care of your mental health, you can write down your inner thoughts to help you get things in perspective. If you’re struggling against depression, stress, or anxiety, journaling enables you to explore your mind and this positively affects your mental health.
So pick a journaling tool of your choice. You can write on a blog, a diary, or the notes on your phone. You can write in your journal every day, or you can make this a weekly habit, and you can write whatever you want. What should you write in your mental health journal? Here are some journal entries suggestions you can follow:
- Expressive Writing: Talk about the events or your experiences during the day (self-reflect, self-expression, or explore your thoughts and emotions).
- Personal Planning Journal: This is a goal-setting type of journal. Reflect on your short-term and long-term goals. Formulate a realistic game plan on how to achieve them, and how to keep track of your progress.
- Gratitude Journal: Write down the good things you’re grateful for and your life’s blessings.
- Write a letter to yourself: Write down your achievements, address your self-doubt, how you can do better the next time, or how you can take care of your mental health.
- Stress Management Journal: Write down and describe the stressful moments and emotions you’re going through. Think of the stress management techniques you can use.
Keeping a journal is a great idea to handle depression, stress management, or anxiety. Doing a “brain dump” through writing is like taking a walk in nature; it will help clear your head from negative emotions. So what are the benefits of journaling to your mental health? Here’s what you need to know.
Journaling Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Journaling can help you explore your thoughts and emotions, may it be your worries, stressing events, or anxious feelings. When you start writing about your stressful experiences, you’ll begin to feel your nerves soothing; you’ll feel calmer and have a clearer mind to come up with solutions to fix your problems.
Start with writing down your problems, thoughts, and feelings towards the situation or what causes your stress. Then try to figure out healthy coping strategies to address your problems.
For example, you notice that for how many days, you keep on writing in your journal that an upcoming presentation causes you stress and sleepless nights. What can you do to solve this? Ask help from a co-worker or insights from your boss to nail this presentation. So you’ll be prepared, feel more confident, and do not have to worry so much about this presentation.
Benefits of Gratitude Journaling
Gratitude journaling includes writing down what you’re grateful for or your life’s blessings. You may not have everything right now, or you still have goals to achieve, but you still have to recognize the other positive things happening in your life.
This is an effective strategy to relieve stress as you realize that whatever problems you have, you’re still thankful for the other blessings in your life. Gratitude journaling helps you to be in a positive mood, cheer you up and lower blood pressure.
Be thankful for another day, another opportunity to improve. Be thankful for your family and a loved one who serves as your support system. Be thankful for simple things like good health, a roof over your head, and positive experiences.
Journaling Benefits of Emotional Release
Emotional release journaling helps with reflection, healing, resolve traumas, understanding past experiences, boost your mood, and reduce stress. When you write down your pent-up emotions, this is a good release, and this step is a significant turning point in facing your emotions.
Writing an emotional release journal helps you understand your traumas, fears, worries and what’s holding you back. As you document your bottled-up emotions, you back-read to help you understand your past experiences. With this, you can find inspiration to move forward.
For example, you had a rough day, your car broke down, you’re late for work, and you got reprimanded by your boss. Your emotions are just bottled up that you want to scream. Instead of lashing out to other people, write your feelings in your journal—this a healthy way to manage your anger issues.
Benefits of Writing a Journal Before Bed
Do you keep on tossing and turning at night as your thoughts keep on thinking of your responsibilities for tomorrow? That’s where writing a journal before bed can help. Unfinished tasks and worrying about achieving them causes a person to worry and is unable to fall asleep. A study shows that people who write a journal with their to-do list for tomorrow and the goals to achieve for the week fall asleep faster. If you don’t get enough sleep and feel tired every day, this significantly affects your mental health.
Before bed, it helps to write about your specific task for tomorrow or the week. In your journal, you can even write about your schedule to make things more organized. As you try this, you’ll find that you’re more productive every day and you can sleep well at night. Writing a journal before bed is not just for organizing your to-do list for the next day. It can also be expressive writing, just to get all the emotions out.
The Benefits of Journaling to Fight Depression
The benefits of journaling are proven to help fight depression. You can write your deepest thoughts, what bothers you, and your emotions. By writing down everything you’re going through in your journal, you can identify patterns that are a warning sign of depression. With the information you wrote in your journal, you may realize that it’s probably time to seek help for your mental health.
The Bottomline on a Keeping a Journal
Journaling can benefit everyone, and it has many positive impacts on your mental health. Even people in therapy can use their journals as a guide to communicating with their therapist. If you need help with stress management, book an appointment now with Kentucky Counseling Center. Use your journal as your guide to your journey for a better you.