Journaling has quickly become one of the most talked-about aspects of self-care in relation to all the benefits it provides. But what is it??? To make it simple, journaling is simply the act of creating a record of your personal thoughts, feelings, goals, and artistic expressions. Some draw images, while others prefer to place their pen to paper and write it in the form of a diary. There are some who have even started keeping electronic journals. With so many different types of journals to choose from, journaling has become an easy, cost-efficient means of improving your mental health.
I know the thought of writing or drawing every day can deter people from committing. I mean, after a long, tiring day, the last thing anyone wants to do is come home to even more work, right? Trust me! I completely understand. But the positive effects of journaling can be felt even if it’s not done daily.
Benefits of Journaling for Mental Wellness
Here are a few:
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 once a day, preferably before bed, is write down what you’re grateful for. It might not seem like much, but it’s a very powerful method to help you dream sweetly and think 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. You will be able to see your perspective on those things concerning you and adjust it if it so happens to be negative. As you tackle each issue with a positive mindset, you will experience mental wellness. Remember, you are what you think.
Lessens Symptoms of Depression–Understand that depression is very different from sadness. If you believe that you suffer from depression, a therapist may be needed. However, releasing your thoughts on paper can make it less traumatic for you mentally, so that you begin to feel better. Plus, when the storm is over, you will be able to look back and be proud of how far you will have come.
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 you choose to write in your journal how you are feeling and why each time you have that anxious feeling, you’ll start to control it better.
Lowers Avoidance Behaviors—Many people who have mental health issues 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 will help you conquer your fears head-on. Soon, you will find yourself in places you never thought you would go back to and doing those things that you thought you would never be able to do again.
You’ll Sleep Better—Who doesn’t love a good night’s rest?? Pouring your heart out into a journal is a great way to obtain a clear mind. While you are sleeping, your subconscious is still working. Your brain never stops functioning. Taking the stress of life and negative thoughts to bed with you can increase your chance of experiencing nightmares. Try to get in the habit of leaving it all on the paper before you lay down on your pillow.
Makes You a Kinder Person—Exploring your own emotional state and accepting your own feelings while working through what makes you who you are in your journal will make you naturally more empathetic to others. Letting go of judgment for self improves your thoughts for others also.
Improves Your Memory—This is almost a situation where you want to say “duh,” but it has to be said. Writing down things helps you remember them because you can go back and read them. In addition, it enables you to recall things more frequently. Last week, we spoke about goal-setting. The phenomenon works the same in this instance. Just like writing your goals down will keep them at the forefront of your mind, the same will occur if you write down those other things that you prioritize in your life.
One thing that can really help you make your journaling work is to learn how to keep one effectively. Make some journaling rules. Commit to writing in it every day until you make it a habit. Keep it private. This is YOUR release for YOUR mental wellness.
If you have never journaled before, I will be urging you to give it a try all month long. It has literally changed my life in the best way. If you need a nice journal for your mental release, check out The Writer’s Haven at www.etsy.com/shop/TheWritersHaven
Adrienne Michelle Horn is the owner of I A.M. Editing, Ink. Although she has a full-time professional career in the healthcare field, she is also a South Florida-based editor, poet, author, entrepreneur, and mother of her beautiful daughter, Paris.
For more information about Adrienne and her company, follow I A.M. Editing, Ink on social media or visit https://linktr.ee/iamediting