HOW JOURNALING CAN HELP WITH MENTAL HEALTHMar 18, 2020
How Journaling Can Help with Mental Health Issues
Keeping a journal can help with improving your mental health. However, if you really want to tackle a specific problem you’re having, it will help to determine the right type of journal to keep. Keeping a particular kind of journal may work best for your situation.
* Boosts Your Mood – If you really want to boost your mood, keeping a gratitude journal is where it’s at. All you have to do is once a day, preferably before bed, write down what you’re grateful for today. It might not seem like much but it’s very powerful for going to sleep, thinking positively about your life.
* Increases Your Sense of Well-Being – As you write out your thoughts, you’ll start seeing issues from a new angle just because you’re opening your mind to think about it. This is going to make you feel more capable of dealing with whatever happens.
* Lessens Symptoms of Depression – Understand that depression is something different from sadness and that you may need a counselor. Writing it all down can make it seem more manageable. Plus, you can look back at days you thought life was too difficult and then see better days after.
* Reduces Anxiety – The problem with anxiety is that it was designed to help us get away from immediate danger. It triggers the “fight or flight” response. If each time you have that anxious feeling you choose to write in your journal about how you are feeling and why you may start to gain a sense of control over the feelings.
* Lowers Avoidance Behaviors – Many people who have mental health stressors practice avoidance behaviors such as not going to places that cause them anxiety, or not doing the things they need to do due to how they feel. When you write it out, it helps you express the feelings which can make it easier to do the thing that causes the anxiety anyway.
* You’ll Sleep Better – Pouring your heart out into a journal is a great way to get things off your chest. However, for sleep, go to the gratitude journal and write down what you’re thankful for today and go to sleep thinking of that.
* Makes You a Kinder Person – Exploring your own emotional state and accepting your own feelings while you work through what makes you who you are in your journal is going to make you naturally more empathetic to others too. Letting go of judgment for self improves your thoughts for others also.
* Improves Your Memory – Writing down things helps you remember because the act of writing something down enables your brain to recall it in an additional way.
One thing that can really help you make your journaling work is to learn how to keep one effectively. Make some journaling rules, do it every day to create a habit, and keep it private unless you decide to let your therapist see it or you decide to use it to help others. This is for you and only you for the most part.