You may have heard that keeping a journal can help you improve your mental health and wellbeing, but you may not know how. Writing down your thoughts and feelings about your current situation and events in your life can help your anxiety levels and other aspects of your mental health in several ways.
Journal writing is often used in therapy to increase awareness and to identify thinking patterns. This can help a person grow and develop their sense of self and to identify their trigger. Journaling is often used as a component in cognitive behavioral therapy. You can check out this article to learn more about CBT and the ways that it may benefit you.
Writing in a journal can help you express your feelings and desires and help you express your appreciation for success and acceptance of failure. It can also help you look at negative emotions and the things that trigger them or contribute to them. You can also use a journal to set clear goals and the things that may stand in your way towards accomplishing them.
Writing is a Mindfulness Technique
Expressive writing can be a mindfulness technique that can help you lower your stress and anxiety levels. Just writing for around 20 minutes a day can help you improve your mental health because it teaches you to live in the moment. It also allows you to be introspective and aware of your own feelings.
Try to use your journal writing time to keep track of your emotions, situations, and behaviors. When you write, stay in the present moment, and remain completely honest. You can write about anything that you want as long as it is expressive of your ideals, thoughts, and feelings.
Writing Can Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is our ability to understand and manage our own emotions in a healthy way. This can help to relieve stress and empathize with others as well as to communicate effectively. These things have a great impact on our overall mental health.
When we do not adequately acknowledge and express our emotions, we can become depressed or easily aggravated. Writing can help us describe and accept an event that triggers strong emotions. Then, we can observe that situation while writing and gradually learn to replace that negative emotion with positive ones or learn how to cope with the situation or emotion in a healthier way.
Writing Can Help Your Organize Your Thoughts
Thoughts can become overwhelming when you are thinking about too many things at once. This can cause us to develop symptoms associated with anxiety and even harm our ability to function properly. Writing can help with this as well.
When you keep a journal, it can help you write all of the things that are crowded into your mind. Then, you can separate them which can help you prioritize and reduce your anxiety levels because everything will be organized on paper which can lead you to accept and address those things. You will also be able to let go of things that you cannot do anything about or that you should not be worrying about for any reason.
How to Start Writing in a Journal
It is important to know some tips and tricks to writing and getting the most out of it. First, try to remember that you do not have to write a specific amount each time you put your pen to paper. Even 5 minutes a day may be enough to get some of your thoughts and feelings out in the open so that you can be more aware of yourself.
If you do not like to write about any topic that comes to your mind on a given day, there are some other things you can do to get started. Some people like to write stories or poetry that express the emotions that they feel. You can also look up prompts that can start your writing and then let your thoughts guide you from there.
Some people like to write about the events of that day or the day before. Other people like to write about the things that they are grateful. Write about whatever works well for you and allows you to express yourself without judgment.
Also, remember that nobody will read your journal if you do not want them to. This will help you write honestly. Also, try not to worry about grammar or spelling or even you are handwriting as long as you can read it if you ever decide to.
Choose a time that works best for you and try your best to stick with it. If you feel like writing calms you down at the end of the day, try writing before bedtime. Conversely, if you are a morning person and have 10 to 20 minutes every morning, then that may be the best time for you.
Final Thoughts on Writing for Mental Health
Writing can be a great way to learn to manage your emotions and identify negative thought patterns. It can be relaxing and help to unburden your mind. Writing can help you learn about yourself as you express the ways that you feel about different situations. Writing is even commonly used as a part of therapy. If you feel like writing would not be enough to improve your mental health, you may want to consider therapy as well.