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Journaling for Mental Health

Journaling is not always thought of as a way to improve your mental health. In the past, journaling has been used to track moods and behaviors, but this can be less about improving your mental health and more about tracking specific symptoms. In this blog I will show how journaling for mental health can benefit you.

Journaling allows you to process complex thoughts and emotions, which helps promote positive thinking and self-talk. By journaling for self-discovery and making it a part of your daily routine, you can change your mindset, enable personal growth, and shift your mind towards gratitude.

What is Journaling

Journaling is the practice of keeping a diary or journal in which you explore your thoughts and emotions. Journaling helps you process emotions in a positive way and create an opportunity for self-dialogue. It allows you to channel both positive and negative experiences into an outlet that creates a meaningful connection with yourself. The best part about journaling is that it doesn't have to be complicated or stressful. Just get started!

Why You Should Journal

Writing in a journal will benefit you through increased creative energy and positive feelings. Writing can help you process information to clear your mind, which will then improve your learning skills for school. It can also help you generate creativity or discover new ideas, and help you to solve problems you are facing. This improves learning skills, generates creativity, and helps to:

  • optimize your creative potential

  • increase your focus and productivity

  • accelerate your ability to manifest goals

  • clear your thoughts and emotions

Recording your life is a great way to recognize patterns or behaviors over time. It can show you your personal growth and give you memories of important moments in your life.

Benefits of Journaling for Mental Health

By keeping a journal, you can develop your mental faculties. You will have greater clarity and focus, which will enable you to solve problems and resolve conflicts with your partner.

You will notice a reduction in stress because you can process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way. Journaling can help you improve your mental health by:

  • prioritizing your fears, problems, and concerns

  • creating a springboard for daily recovery

  • generating clarity and congruence

  • reducing mental clutter which gives space and time to focus

  • allowing you to detach and let go of the past

  • creating positive self-dialogue with yourself

  • providing insight into your thought patterns and behaviors

Journaling is a great way to promote mental wellness, build resilience, and ultimately lead to a healthier mind with increased gratitude.

How to Start a Journal or Diary Entry

Journaling is a great tool for self-care. It can be intimidating to start a journal, but learning how to write a journal entry isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Remember that journaling can help you process your thoughts and feelings, bring clarity to your emotions, and help you monitor your thinking patterns or behavior.

Here are 7 steps on how to write a journal entry:

1. Pick your journaling tool

  • pick a journaling tool that you would be comfortable using regularly

  • it should also be one you enjoy using

2. Use a timer

  • a timer will help force you to get your thoughts out because you only have a limited amount of time to write

  • stop writing when the timer is up

  • 20 minutes is a good amount of time

3. Always date your entries before starting

  • having a date will give you the history and allow you to go back and reflect on the past

4. Start writing

  • begin anywhere, forget about spelling or punctuation

  • write quickly, as it more important to get your thoughts out

  • don’t have expectations or try to be perfect

5. Keep your journal private

  • gives you a sense of security or boundary so you don’t censor what you write about

6. Read your journal entry

  • read through your entry after you have finished writing

  • this helps to process your thoughts and emotions

7. Write regularly

  • writing regularly helps build that habit

  • this habit shifts your mind to process thoughts and emotions in a healthy way

Don't sweat the first page. Scribble to get started, or put the date at the top if that helps.

How to Journal for Mental Health

Journaling for mental health can positively alter your thinking patterns and promote a healthier mind.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when journaling for your mental health:

  • try to express your thoughts and emotions

  • write judgment-free and avoid censoring

  • write in a stream of consciousness

  • separate yourself from your thoughts and evaluate from an external view

  • feel your thoughts by releasing negative emotions

  • document symptoms you experience (consider both physical and emotional symptoms such as anger, anxiety, or numbness)

  • track your mood (with a scale of 1-5 or descriptions such as happy and sad)

  • read and reflect on your entry after you finished writing to process thoughts and emotions

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