I wanted to talk a little bit today about journaling and all it’s positive mental health benefits. I’m a huge fan of journaling in general and expressive writing so a post like this is right up my street. Journaling is a great hobby as it’s so inexpensive, all you need is your mind, your imagination, a cheap notebook and a pen. Journaling can also lead to great things, I often find inspiration for poems and prose when I’m writing about my thoughts and feelings in my journal, but it’s great as a standalone thing as well, especially for our mental wellbeing.
So, how does journaling improve our mental health? Here’s 8 way it does just that.
Improves your memory:
When we’re suffering from a mental illness, like depression or anxiety for example, our memory can often suffer. Journaling helps with the memory process and can help us process and ‘soak in’ the events of our day.
Offers a place to express our emotions:
Journaling offers a safe space for us to express our most inner thoughts, feelings and emotions. It’s a healthy coping mechanism and a brilliant habit to build up.
Offers a place to practise gratitude:
I know I preach a lot about practising gratitude but it really has worked wonders for me, I’ve done a blog post all about how to practise it and why it’s so important if you fancy reading more but long story short, it helps us improve our general wellness by learning to appreciate the present moment and what we have more.
You can track your symptoms day by day:
Say if you experience anxiety one day, hallucinations the next and depression throughout, it enables you to keep track of these symptoms in order to show your therapist for example. Tracking your symptoms in this way can be great, you can get really creative by it by doing charts, colour-coding and ranking your mood out of ten and so much more.
It increases self-awareness:
Expressive writing in this way can help boost your own awareness of your thoughts, feelings and emotions, or even any symptoms your experiencing of a mental illness. It enables you to explore your own experiences and increase your own awareness about them.
Helps you to identify negative self-talk and practise positive self-talk instead:
Through journaling we can learn to identify where we’re talking to ourselves in a negative way, or beating ourselves up over something. Then, we can learn to replace these thought processes with positive ones through positive self-talk and affirmations.
Journaling is proven to reduce stress levels by offering an emotional release. If I’m having a particularly stressful day I find that by writing about it I decrease the power the stress has over me and I feel so much more relaxed afterwards.
Creativity helps to improve mental health as a whole:
As with any creative endeavour there’s a certain level of emotional release that it provides. Creativity, such as expressive writing or journaling, is a proven way to help boost mental wellbeing.
So those were 8 benefits that journaling has to your mental health as a whole. I hope this has inspired you to pick up that pen and your notebook and get writing.
Until next time,