How Can Maintaining A Journal Help Tackle Mental Health Problems?

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“Dear diary…” 

When we think of this phrase, the image that pops in our head is of a teen rambling about daily dramas, and school life. However, journaling has no age restriction. Anyone can maintain a journal.

There are days when we are not feeling our absolute best. We may feel anxious, angry, frustrated, stressed, or sad. Writing these emotions down can be healthy as it can help us manage and even control them. Maintaining a journal can be a great medium of catharsis (releasing pent up emotions). 

Positive effects of journaling:

  • Detoxifying mind:

Journaling can help you clear your head, make meaningful associations between the Affective, Behavioural, and Cognitive components. It can also lessen the impacts of mental problems.

When you write in a journal, you let your imagination fly beyond the horizon; this creativity helps your mind to relax. You employ both, the left, (analytical, reasoning, and logical) and the right (creative, imaginative) side of the brain. Researches claim that journaling can boost your mood, enhance self-confidence and can improve memory.

  • Generate self-awareness:

When you pen your emotions down (all the highs and lows), you tend to analyse and evaluate them. You can re-read the happy moments, and on the other hand, by jotting the triggering elements, you can avoid them.

  • It gives you insight and helps you reflect on your actions:

You may find yourself stressing over something, you did not know was pestering you up until you decided to write it. It can make you progressively mindful and can assist you with distinguishing faulty, undesirable behavioural and cognitive patterns.

  • It helps in retrospection and introspection:

You can recognise a certain trend in your performance (performance analysis). It can provide you with facts about your journey, either a warning that you need more help or consolation that you are heading in the right direction (healing). Journaling can make you aware of your strengths and weakness. Thus, you can enhance your strengths and work on your weakness. 

  • Gaining control:

Journaling is tied in with reflecting. You are acquainted with your problems. After identification of the problem, you can decide the course of action or the path you want to take to resolve the problem. You tend to take control of your actions and thoughts. Maintaining a journal and managing it can make you feel accomplished, and can empower you. 

  • Stress management:

Journaling helps in catharsis. It is better to vent the emotions and not keep them caged inside. Acknowledging these emotions and avoiding potential threats can help reduce stress and anxiety. By maintaining a record of your experiences, you can use them as a reference in future to tackle problems. They can also uplift your mood and fill you with positive emotions. 

  • A shift in perspective:

Over time, you will be able to identify, acknowledge, and overcome any obstacle. By taking into consideration the positive experiences, you will develop a healthy coping mechanism. 

Quick tips to help you have a good journaling experience-

  • Be truthful. Do not censor information:

Journaling enables you to express your genuine thoughts. Write about your day without censoring and filtering. If it is bad, let it be and do not censor information. Journaling will help you understand your emotions better. Your journal is YOUR safe space. Do not edit and always be honest you will conclusively be honest with yourself.

  • Make it a habit:

Write every day. You will be able to manage your thoughts better. Find a tranquil place, where you can write about your day with no distractions. End your entry on a positive note. It will subconsciously enforce a positive attitude, thus making you feel pleasant.

  • Do not brood on negative thoughts:

Life is full of difficulties. You cannot expect to encounter happy emotions every day. However, do not focus solely on negative emotions. Set a time limit and do not exceed it. Always end with a positive affirmation. 

  • Always be prepared:

Keep your journal near and write whatever comes to your mind. Remember the three “Ws,” Whatever, Wherever and Whenever. 

Journaling advances and improves your innovativeness. It impels you toward your objectives, helping you breathe life into your vision. Penning the emotions down can give you a chance to recuperate from the stressors and abandon the irrelevant stuff. Journaling can assist you with recognizing things that would somehow go unnoticed (the trends and challenges in your thought and behavioural processes). It allows you to get the entirety of your feelings out on paper, diminishing your pressure and discharging strain. It gives you an outlet to vent. 

Happy Journaling!

Find a BUDDY to share all your problems with (even anonymously, if you want) on the FeelJoy Mobile App available for all Android users.

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