Many of us struggle with stressful situations, some of which happen to relate to work, trauma, or a lack of self-awareness. When we have nowhere to turn, or things get the best of us, it is easy for our behavioral responses to replicate exactly how we’re feeling. In some other cases, we may keep emotions bottled inside. That’s why journaling can be a great tool in our lives because it gives us a safe space to express exactly how we’re feeling, but only if it’s done effectively and often. When it’s done often, it can benefit overall mental health by increasing it. If you’re new to journaling, take some time to read below to find out how journaling can make life a little less stressful.
What Does Journaling Do?
Journaling is known to provide a greater understanding of oneself by clarifying the reasoning behind certain behavioral responses, building a stronger immune system, increasing positivity in moods, and reducing stress.
• Reflection—reflection, also known as introspection, is when you focus on which events and emotions occur or seem to recur in your life. This allows you to channel your emotional responses to the things that happen and then further implement newer responses if need be. Reflection is an important part of learning how to improve certain behaviors and develop newer, healthier habits.
• Live What You’ve Written Down—after you’ve reflected on cultivating new habits, live by what you’ve written down. It does no good to put energy into self-observation if there isn’t a plan that follows as to how older habits are going to change.
How Does Journaling Increase Mental Health?
The point of journaling is to bring you to a state of mindfulness and self-awareness. Self-awareness is another term for drawing you closer to yourself, and what’s going on within you.
• Stress management—the upside to journaling is that it can reduce stress when it comes to challenging or loaded tasks. Sometimes there is so much going on in our heads throughout the day that it seems unbearable. When you’re stressed out, you leave little room to realize that most stressful situations only need solutions. Journaling can be a problem-solving tool because it allows you to get each thought down on paper. Once that happens, you’ll able to figure out the most viable options and turn them into solutions.
• Trauma—often times painful memories are buried into thoughts, not expressed, or simply ignored. Journaling is a powerful tool that is used to process painful thoughts and memories. Writing is a platform where vulnerability can be expressed without having to consult others, in other words, it’s a great way to set aside time for yourself and get serious about what’s going on within you.
• Writing within recovery—If you’ve practiced journaling, and don’t know where it leads after you’ve learned to cope with trauma, or manage stress, it’s important to keep going. Often times, when we feel better about situations, we tend to quit the tools that were helping us cope, but the most important aspect of journaling is to do it even in the recovery stages. This will help certain habits become true virtues within your lifestyle.
Journaling can be challenging at first encounter, especially because it involves being completely honest with yourself, but once it becomes a habit, it could end up being an important asset to your lifestyle.