There is a good chance you kept a diary in your teenage years. It was a place where you could confess your worries and struggles without fear of judgment or punishment. After getting all of your thoughts and feelings down on paper, you probably felt better. After that, you probably felt more at peace with everything.
As an adult, you may have stopped keeping a diary. However, the concept and benefits still apply. Today, we call this journaling. The idea is to write down your feelings and thoughts so that you will be able to understand them better. Keeping a journal can be very beneficial if you are suffering from stress, depression, or anxiety. It can help you gain control of the emotions you are feeling as well as improve your mental health.
Benefits of Journaling
Finding a healthy way to express your emotions is one of the best ways to deal with overwhelming feelings. This is why journaling is such an important mental health tool. By journaling, you can:
- Manage anxiety – Writing down your feelings can decrease mental distress because it can help you identify problems in your life and work on solutions in a safe setting.
- Reduce stress — Journaling is an excellent stress-management technique and an effective means of reducing the health risks associated with physical stress. Interestingly, a study found that simply journaling for 15 to 20 minutes each day for four months was enough to reduce blood pressure and boost liver function.
- Coping with depression — Depression is one of the most challenging mental health issues, and people have long struggled to find effective ways to deal with its effects. A decades-long body of scientific research has identified journaling as a beneficial practice for coping with depression.
You can control your symptoms and improve your mood by journaling in the following ways:
- You can organize your problems, threats, and concerns in a way that helps you prioritize them
- Track any symptoms that you experience from day to day so that you will be able to recognize triggers and learn how to better manage them
- Creating a safe environment where you can practice positive self-talk and identify negative thoughts and behaviors in order to work on them
Here are some tips to help you get started with journaling:
- Make a habit of writing every day
Every day, try to set aside a small amount of writing time. It is important that you write in your journal regularly in order to reap the full benefits of journaling.
- Make things easy
It is a good idea to keep a pen and paper handy at all times. That way, when you have something to think about, you can write it down. If you prefer, you can also keep a journal on your smartphone.
- Draw or write what feels right to you
There is no set structure for your journal. There’s no one else watching; it’s your private place where you can discuss and express your feelings as you wish. Don’t hold back. Forget about spelling errors and what others may think.
- Journal as you wish
It is not necessary to share your journal with anyone. You may make parts of your journal available to trusted friends and loved ones if you wish to share some of your thoughts with them, but it’s important to remember that it’s your private space to be free with yourself.
Journaling can help you find order when your life feels chaotic. When you reveal your most private fears, thoughts, and feelings. Think of your writing time as a personal time for relaxation. It’s a chance to de-stress and unwind. Ideally, you should write in a relaxing and soothing environment, perhaps while enjoying a cup of tea. Enjoy your journaling time. Remember, you are doing something beneficial for yourself.
It is important to remember that journaling is only one part of a healthy lifestyle for managing stress, anxiety, and mental health conditions. Boost your mental health by doing things like relaxing and meditating every day, eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep.
Life Adjustment Team
If you are having trouble getting control of your mental health, contact Life Adjustment Team today. Whether you have been in an inpatient facility, or just want to join group therapy, Life Adjustment Team can personalize a plan to get you feeling better. Contact us today to get started living your best life.