How Can Journaling Help Improve Our Mental Health?

You see journaling as one of the main pieces of advice when it comes down to self-care and introspection. Ever wondered if it’s really that effective? Read and find out.

Journaling used to be something I would attribute to very, extremely organised people only. I always envied journaling as a habit, because I thought it would be so nice to be this type of an individual one day – who organises thoughts like drawers, and makes sure to address all of them, one step at a time. 

I lamented not being someone who takes the time to stop, and write what I am feeling, how I am feeling, what I need to do, what I did, or what I did not. But most of all, I thought journaling is so poetic. 

That is why one day I simply decided I would try to keep track of my thoughts, and simply see what comes up of them. I was mind-blown to see the changes in self-management, after I started writing down things that bothered me throughout the day. 

But it wasn’t only negative thoughts that I was writing down. I also took a few moments to contemplate and write down blessings too, so as to balance the list and to find some reassurance in the words I had written. 

Today, I can say journaling helped me save my sanity. No, it did not make me a more organised person, as I thought I would become. 

I continue to be messy, but at the very least, I find some peace when I see the messiness of my thoughts reflected on different pieces of paper. I can focus on addressing some of them, whenever I want to, with a flip of a page. 

Here are a few benefits of how journaling helped me improve my mental health, but also how it generally helps people cultivate a sense of well-being. 

 

Reduce Stress

Journaling works as a miracle worker when it comes down to reducing the level of stress, whether that be physical, mental, or emotional. 

Journaling has proven to be a super-efficient stress management tool, which can help you impact and decrease the level of physical stressors on your health maintenance. 

On this regard, a study showed that expressive writing (like journaling) for only 15 to 20 minutes a day three to five times over the course of a four-month period was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality. 

Other than that, turns out writing about stressful experiences can help you manage them in a healthy way. It’s not us, it’s science!

 

Getting To Know Yourself Better

When we read different books, we feel like written words and descriptions of character’s lives make it easier for us to understand the characters and absolutely understand what they think or feel. 

Imagine reading lines written by yourself, that can actually unfold sides of you that you have never explored before, as you did not get the chance to. 

Reading out loud the things that you feel, in certain circumstances, can help you understand the sort of the person you are, in certain circumstances. 

 

Reducing Temper And Anxiety

There’s this meme that has been circulating throughout the internet for a while, where you can see a young boy in four different pictures: in the first picture, he starts off writing very pissed off, remembering what he has experienced, feeling the insults, rage and anger. 

You will notice how by the second and third picture, he begins to realise what he is writing, how he is feeling and just how intense his experience is. 

As he becomes more and more aware, by the fourth picture, we can see him smiling and becoming calmer, as he reaches a point of realisation of the feelings he has put down to paper. 

Try it and you’ll see how writing can indeed help you lose your temper, because you feel like you can tell anything to the paper, and the paper will listen patiently. 

 

Monitoring Progress Of Self-Growth

There’s nothing more fulfilling than going back through old pages of your journal, and realising how differently you used to react towards a certain situation back in the days. 

If you’re lucky, and you commit to the habit of journaling, this habit will not only boost your memory, but it will mock your memories too, as you begin to realise that journaling is a step forward towards self-growth, self-compassion and acceptance. 

Hell, you’ll even laugh at some situations which probably were pretty dramatic to you, now that you have the opportunity to look back on them. 

That is why I insist that all people should set some time off to write a few paragraphs, notes or thoughts during their day. 

You don’t have to be an artist, or even pretend to be one. Not everyone is trying to become a poet. 

Journaling simply filters our minds, soothes our brains and helps us become the best version of ourselves while keeping track of the older, less wiser version too.


Self-care comes in many shapes and sizes, including therapy:

What to Expect During Your First Therapy Session

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