Journaling is one of my most important tools for looking after my mental health. It helps me when I’m stressed, anxious, depressed, boosts my self esteem, my confidence and helps me track my self care.
While the benefits of journaling are most seen when it becomes a habit, something you do regularly and becomes part of your routine. This is when it can really help improve your mental health. But putting pen to paper can immediately help you to feel better straight away. Here are 7 ways that journaling can help your mental health.
1. Remind you of the good things
Journaling can remind you of all the good things in the world and in your life. It can boost your self-esteem and confidence. Write lists of the things that you’re grateful for or things that make you smile. These happy lists can boost your mood when you write them and when you re-read them! Writing a diary can also remind you of the things that you have done. You could regularly review what you have been doing and have lovely memories to look back on.
2. Release feelings and stress
Journaling can help you to release your feelings and emotions. Writing things down can help a lot to work through your thoughts and emotions. If you’ve got lots of stressful things racing around your head it can be really helpful to write them down. Writing down your emotions can help you to distance yourself from them and gain some perspective.
3. Help you work out what’s wrong
Sometimes you can feel stressed, anxious or depressed but don’t know why. Journaling can help you when you feel like this. You can pick up a pen and just start writing about anything and everything. I like to put together a spider diagram of all the little things that are worrying me. I often don’t even realise that they’re worrying me until I’ve written them down!
4. Practicing mindfulness
Journaling is a written record of your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Being reflective and mindful through journaling can help your mental health. Mindfulness is about paying more attention to the present moment. Paying attention to what you’re thinking and feeling can help your mental health. Concentrating on the present means that you can let go of the past and stop worrying about the future.
5. Tracking how you look after yourself
Journaling can help you take better care of yourself – by tracking your wellbeing and self-care. It helps you to feel more in control. Routine self care is really important in managing your mental health and keeping your emotions on an even keel.
Try and make journaling a regular habit. If you can fit journaling into your routine you are more likely to keep it up. Creating a routine means that you’re more likely to do all of your self care regularly too! Doing these things consistently will make more of an impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
6. Creative expression
Make it your own – journaling can be creative! Doodle, use different colours or stickers and glue things into it. Use your journal as a form of self expression and make it enjoyable. Take a look at pinterest, instagram and blogs for ideas of journal pages and designs. Include whatever you want to include and experiment. If a page doesn’t work for you then change it.
7. Practicing non-judgement
While you’re journaling try to practice non-judgement. Don’t judge yourself for what you write or what your handwriting looks like! There is no right or wrong way to journal. Bullet journaling is a common starting point but you don’t need to use this exact method. Take your notebook and make it your own. Turn it into your journal -whatever that looks like for you!