Life throws us plenty of challenges on a daily basis. Some challenges may be more difficult to cope with than others. And when it they start to accumulate without any sort of resolve, it can be difficult to cope with those challenges. But one of the ways we can help ourselves to cope with those challenges and improve our mental health is by keeping a journal. Here are some of the ways that writing in a journal can be good for your mental health.
Writing in a journal is a good practice in self awareness and self monitoring
If you are able to maintain the habit of writing in a journal on a frequent basis, you may be surprised to come up with a solution to your problems. Your sense of self awareness will improve by recognizing some of the attributing factors to a problem. Also, writing the date of your entries is a helpful way to monitor yourself and your emotions. You can always refer to previous entries to see how your situation or emotional state improved or could be improved.
Paper is not judgemental
When you’re writing, it’s just you and the paper. Paper does not judge, paper does not provide harmful advice. It’s there for you to use and help you express what you need to say. Sometimes when you sit down with a pen and paper, you may not know where to start. And that’s part of the point. You can start from wherever it seems to make the most sense to you and your current emotions.
Writing in a journal helps you to organize your thoughts before you can verbalize them
Sometimes the first step to talking or discussing your problems with someone else involves writing them. Many of us are not always ready to verbally express what’s on our mind right away. When we’re faced with a problem, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the emotions and perhaps multiple issues affecting our current situation. In addition, expressing your emotions on paper prevents you from saying something hurtful you don’t mean. Your journal can serve as an effective filtering tool.
You develop a better sense of privacy
In these days of social media where projecting our daily musings and opinions becomes commonly widespread, it can be dangerous to our mental health. If we let social media take over our lives, we strip our own barriers, sense of self worth, and sometimes our dignity. We may not get the support we need or we may feel worse about ourselves after sharing something so personal on social media. The practice of writing in a journal allows you to send out a message without taking those risks. After awhile, you may start to take better control of how you choose to use social media.
Writing in a journal may improve your own writing
Writing in a journal allows you the freedom to express your ideas. When we’re engaged in formal writing, you can find yourself feeling stifled and in a position of fear. You may be afraid of what other people think when your writing goes out to the public eye. But when you are writing in a journal, the writing is only for you ( or it should be). Sometimes the problems in our lives can serve as heavy emotional burdens. And when we write them out, it can feel as though a significant weight has been lifted off our shoulders. This cathartic release that comes with writing can put us in a better position to write without feeling fearful of sharing our work. Those heavy weights are no longer a factor in our writing.
Keeping a journal can be reliable source of support when you need it. You may not know what you want to say until you actually sit down to write it all out. However, journal writing is not the only method of managing your mental health. If you find your problems becoming too difficult to handle, and you’re no longer finding a resolve from writing in a journal, it’s best to speak with a health professional to find additional solutions.
If you feel comfortable to do so, I’d love to hear how journal writing has helped you! Please feel free to share your story in the comments below.