Keeping a journal or diary can have positive benefits for your mental health. Of course, there are various reasons why people may keep a journal. For some people, looking after their mental health or as an act of self-care is just one part of the picture. Others may keep a journal to make writing a daily practise, for the simple act of enjoyment or even to keep a record of their lives. Whatever your reason for journaling, the mental health benefits are undeniable.
#1 Processing Your Feelings
Writing down your feelings can help you process or eventually heal. It’s a great way to give space and time to the emotions which we may otherwise store inside us. At times when we are unsure how we feel or need to make a decision. Journaling can help us find clarity and work out how we feel about certain things. Ultimately guiding us to a decision that is right for us.
For 5 Ways to Ensure Blogging is an Act of Self Care read here.
#2 Releasing Emotions
Journaling can be a cathartic experience and help us release the emotions inside. By letting the emotions out, we can release our burden. To put it simply, if we’re not sharing it, we’re storing it. And that gets heavy. Whether or not we find resolution in our writing. The simple act of giving them a space, and letting them out can help us find a sense of peace or calm. Literally freeing up space in our head. This can be especially helpful if we feel like we have no-one to talk to. And are therefore limited in our options to find release.
#3 Checking In
Whilst we may journal to figure out what we feel or to find emotional release. Journaling can help us check in with how we are feeling. Sometimes we don’t know how we feel about something or just generally. Having a daily journal practise can give us a space to check in with our mental health and review our day or think clearly about the day ahead.
For 4 Ways to Check In with Your Mental Health read here.
#4 Improve Confidence
However you use your journal, whether for your mental health, a review of your day, to keep track of goals or to keep you motivated. Any or all of these can result in an improvement in confidence. By checking in with your mental health or reviewing or releasing your emotions. This emotional regulation ca help us avoid or combat feelings of stress, anxiety or self-doubt. Likewise, using your journal as a daily review means you have all of your achievements in one place. An excellent reading opportunity when you need a pick me up. And lastly, if you’re keeping track of goals ditto above. Your progress, even when you feel like you’re taking a step back, can remind you of the importance of your goal and the progress you have made to date.
#5 Prevent Overthinking
If you’re prone to overthinking or negative thoughts, journaling can be containing. It can give you an opportunity to organize your thoughts in one place. Giving them an outlet, without letting them takeover. You may not always wish to write about something difficult initially. Sometimes you may need some distance first. But as above, getting our thoughts and feelings out can help us process. And help manage the stress and anxiety which often lead to overthinking or negative thoughts.
#6 Seeking Support
When we write about difficult thoughts, feelings or events. Not only may we be able to get some distance from the event. And perhaps find some healing through our journal practise. But we may also be able to get some clarity about the severity of the problem, how we can manage and when we may need to take an extra step and ask for support. If we find it hard to find the words to explain how we feel. We can experiment by writing about it first. And journaling itself may help us find those words in the first place. If we feel happy to do so, we could also share select parts of our journal with someone to help them understand how we feel.
#7 Practise Self-Care
Journaling can be an act of self-care in and of itself. But the reason you journal can also be a form of self-care. For example, you may journal as a form of gratitude practise, or perhaps journaling is a creative pursuit? Some people may journal to fulfil their love or writing or to keep them organised. These are just a few of the many reasons people journal. But if they help, then they are self-care. As many people journal on a daily basis, it’s a great way to make self-care part of your routine.
For How Gratitude Boosted My Mental Health read here.
Do you journal? What do you journal about? Have you noticed any benefits? Let us know below.