You may think that journaling is only for teenagers but it actually helps to promote better mental health. Keeping a journal allows you to express your thoughts and feelings. So, no matter what your age may be, you can still try journaling and enjoy better mental health.
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Why is Journaling Good for You?
Keeping a journal is best for people who suffer from anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health issues. Sometimes, we’re overwhelmed with work, family, and other responsibilities. Our mind is filled with worries and thoughts on how we can survive the day without breaking down.
By writing your thoughts and feelings in a journal, you can express them fully. In the process, you can also observe what your thought patterns are. You can organize the overwhelming tasks by writing them down and assessing what makes them difficult for you. Writing is a better way of thinking because you can review what you’ve written afterward and create a plan on how to go about it.
What are the Benefits of Journaling?
Journaling is great because it helps you enjoy better mental health. But you may wonder, what does it mean exactly? When you write your thoughts, it gives you the opportunity to track what’s been causing you stress. Maybe you suffer from depression and you don’t know it. For example, you notice that there are times when you are just down and unproductive and you can’t identify why. It will allow you to see this pattern in your behaviour. And in doing so, you can address it.
Another benefit of journaling is that you get to recognize what triggers you to feel a certain emotion. If you feel stressed whenever you have a lot of backlogs at work, then you can start by addressing why you are not able to finish your tasks. You can then improve on your strategies at work so that your tasks won’t accumulate and cause you stress. Journaling can help you reflect on your patterns of behaviour so you can find ways to change them.
The third benefit of journaling is it helps you in prioritizing your concerns and problems. Writing things down will make it easier for you to assess what’s been upsetting you. You may then focus your energy and attention on the most pressing tasks. If you’re a student and you’re not good with math, then maybe that’s what’s stressing you out. You may try giving yourself more time to study math because it needs more attention. You can try different methods on how to prioritize tasks. The important thing is to write what they are so you can have a visual representation of the things you need to juggle.
Lastly, journaling can give you the space that you need where you can work through your negative thoughts and feelings. It is important for us to have this space so that we can express what we think and feel. In a journal, our thoughts are safe because it is only for our consumption. No one will ever read it. So, you can express all those negativities and let them out of your system.
What Journaling Methods are There?
There are many ways that you can keep a journal. If you like, then you can do it old-school with a pen and notebook. It’s good because you can bring it anywhere with you and you can write whenever you feel like it. Journaling in a notebook is also good because it gives you time to focus on something that’s not on the computer or your phone.
However, if you feel that you will be able to write faster or better using a computer or phone, then there are many apps for that. You can try which ones have the features that you need. What’s good about journaling digitally is that you can set a password for it so that no one can gain access to your journal. You can also easily organize your calendar or to-do list while you’re doing a “mind dump” on your journal.
Tips to Remember
When you decide to start journaling, it will help you more if you commit yourself to write in it regularly. It may seem daunting at first because maybe you want it to look perfect. But don’t worry about this. No one’s going to judge you with the way you keep your journal. Remember that you’re doing this so you can achieve better mental health.
Whenever you write, write using a style that you’re most comfortable with. If you like doing bullet points instead of a narrative, that’s fine. What’s important is that you get your thoughts out. Set ample time each day for you to write in your journal. You can use it in the mornings so you can organize the tasks you need to accomplish for the day. And then when the day ends, you can check off things that you’ve done. That will instantly give you a boost because you’ll feel so productive.
Combining Journaling with Healthy Activities
Achieving better mental health shouldn’t rely on journaling alone. Journaling is a good strategy for you to get organized and be less stressed. However, it would also help you if you combine it with other activities. For example, you may try working out, gardening, painting, taking dance classes, reading, and many others.
What’s important is that you pick activities you like to do and incorporate it into your everyday life. You can even turn your journal into a habit tracker so you can see your progress. If you decide that you want to work out three times a week, you can schedule that in your journal’s calendar so that you can see the pattern and how well you were able to stick to the habit.
Journaling for better mental health is something that anyone can do. It doesn’t require you to spend so much because you only need a pen and notebook if you want to do it old-school. If you want a digital journal, most of the apps available today are free to use. So, take advantage of it and write your worries away!
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