No one denies that mental health is a crucial aspect of human beings. Taking care of it or neglecting it will affect your life in many ways. Making it brighter or miserable. And surely we are all striving to lead a better lifestyle, journaling for mental health can be the way.
The way keeping a journal helped me clear my mind over the years is pushing me to tell you about it today. Writing and reflecting on paper hold power within that can transform your life for the better if you do it with honesty and follow your feelings.
Together, in this article, we will go through why journaling is important for mental health. And how you can take advantage of that. And by the end, hopefully, you will be able to journal for mental clarity whenever you face hard times.
Why is journaling good for mental health?
It helps you detect the problem
Journaling is like keeping a record of your thoughts and tracking your behaviors. If you implement journaling in your life whenever you feel down, you are more likely to meet your problems and needs.
Writing about what stresses you right away is like freeing yourself from these ideas. As if you organize them immediately before they sink in. You skip the overthinking phase and right to the real discovery you go.
I personally love to write when my mind is chaotic, and my journal seems to be the most adequate place to do so. It helps me regulate my feelings and know why I even feel like this in the first place.
Here is a post I made that goes to the depth of it: processing emotions with journaling.
And talking about regulating feelings, leads us to the next point:
It helps control your stress
It is one of the most calming activities to consider when mad or anxious. Journaling can calm you down and give you the key to controlling your stress. Just write about it!
Coming from someone who experienced a certain level of anxiety, I confirm that it helps keep your mental sanity when nothing else can. It showed me how to control my anxious thoughts by letting them be unrestricted. Thus, it gives you the feeling of safety and security, which is the first step toward control.
It gives you a free personal space
To deal with mental health you need to be honest and self-aware. You need to feel free and not judged. That’s how journaling provides that space for you!
As I have noted, it is a safe place for you to go, with no rules or restrictions. You are free to write the way you want or even create a page how you imagine it. Messy, colorful, organized, packed with words…whatever feels like freedom to you is proper and valid.
I always talk about freedom in journaling, and how it is a primary feature. It helps you put the boundaries apart and face your problems directly. Like a therapy session, you free yourself in front of blank pages, you let them know about you and explain things that your oral words cannot. And you heal in the process.
How to journal for mental health
Write whenever you need
It is common for people to advise making journaling a daily habit. If it suits you this way, then go ahead. But you don’t need to do it every day, as it can be overwhelming if you fail to keep it.
You can journal only when you want and need it. That’s what I do, and it always seems to work! When you have the energy when you feel anxious or triggered once in a while… Overall, when you need that space, go for it. Make it captivating and expressive, not a burden or a task.
What’s more, writing in your journal only when you require it makes it unique. You teach yourself to crave that time. Therefore, you take advantage of this exercise and value it correctly.
Write what comes to your mind
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” William Wordsworth
As long as you follow this quote, journaling will work like magic. Let your heart write what it wants. Let your mind express itself. Write about what annoys you, what makes you anxious, and what triggers you. Dive into what makes you emotional, what your mental health is like, and what affects you the most.
Do not go back and read it right away. In fact, if you want, just never read it again. Maybe until years later when you cross that journal, it will take you back to what you went through. But at the moment, just write for the sake of writing.
Equally important, do not pay attention to what expressions you use or in what tenses you put your verbs. It is not supposed to feel like an assignment, it is a free space for you to express yourself.
Make it a habit
What I mean by a habit, is an automatic reaction to a certain situation. Make it a habit to pick your journal whenever you feel anxious. Make it natural to grab a pen and write when you are annoyed. Make it usual to take a journaling break on a busy disturbing day of work.
Consequently you will always find time for it, and it will help recognize your feelings easier. By noticing your need to journal, you track your behavior. Therefore, you understand yourself and reach mental clarity.
All in all
To sum up, writing in your journal might be your saver. It gives you the space you need to know yourself deeply. Moreover, it provides the path to maintaining a good mental health and a great level of self-awareness. Write freely, follow some journaling prompts if you need, and take advantage of this magical thing they call journaling.