4 reasons why you should start journaling

August 04, 2016 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Minds

When you were a teenager, you may have kept a diary with your deepest secrets. There is something therapeutic about putting your thoughts and feelings on paper— and it doesn’t just apply to kids.

Many adults are turning to journaling for the mental health benefits. For example, journaling can help you:

Manage anxiety
Writing down your experiences and keeping a running record of your feelings and anxiety levels can help you figure out why you feel anxious. When you evaluate the root of your anxiety and what triggers it, you can figure out ways to better manage it. To get started, write down:

  • The situation
  • What did you tell yourself?
  • How anxious did you feel?
  • Did you see anyone in particular?
  • Did you talk to anyone?

Reduce stress
Writing about your feelings and experiences is a great way to relieve stress. The Journal of Experimental Psychology states that journaling for at least 20 minutes a day reduces thoughts about negative events and improves memory. So next time your thoughts become overwhelming in your head, organize them in a journal — it can be a form of emotional release and a stress buster.

Cope with depression
Many times, we may not know why we are feeling down. Journaling allows you to separate your feelings on paper. When you can identify thoughts and feelings that are bothering you, you start to uncover the underlying causes — and the healing process can begin. It is also helpful if you share your journal with someone, including a friend, family member or therapist, who can provide further insight.

Improve your mood
In a journal, you can write down the problems or fears you are facing and track your symptoms and feelings each day. This can help you see what might be triggering negative thoughts so you can find solutions. You can also use your journal to write down things you’re grateful for (e.g., a gratitude journal), a practice that can boost your mood and make you happier.

With these benefits in mind, there’s no better time than now to start journaling. Try journaling a little bit each day and see where it takes you! Your mental health will likely be more balanced and stronger than ever.

How do you use journaling to feel better? We would love to hear your ideas!

Get support from Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.

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