Journaling is the act of reflecting on and writing down your thoughts and emotions to help you understand them more clearly. There are many health benefits to journaling and is one of the easiest and cheapest habits to start.
You can use journaling to
- get to know yourself better,
- make decisions,
- focus on positive things in your life and increase your mood,
- get to the bottom of negative feelings and beliefs, and
- improve your mental health.
I find that if I am feeling upset, I can just start writing and usually get to the bottom of why I am feeling the way I am feeling. Often it comes down to some belief that is learned but isn’t actually true.
Journaling is one of the easiest and cheapest practices to start. All you need is pen and paper. I recommend writing by hand as opposed to typing it on a computer. Hand writing forces you to slow down and focus on your feelings.
There are 2 ways that you can journal. You can “free write,” which is just where you sit down and start writing. Or you can use journal prompts where you write about a specific thing. (Get your free printable here).
If you are having a hard time free writing or prefer journal prompts, you can try this cool journal jar activity.
When you are wanting to start a daily journal routine try:
- Setting aside 5-10 minutes a day to write in your journal.
- Write your feelings. Write whatever you want and feel. It does not have to follow a certain structure so just do what feels right to you.
- You can keep your journal as secret or as open as you see fit.
- I also use my journal time to write my daily gratitude’s and my top 10 goals everyday. So make your journal practice your own!
There are many benefits of journaling. Journaling helps anxiety, depression, and stress. Journaling about your thoughts and emotions can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.
Journaling improves your mental health by:
- reducing stress
- controlling anxiety
- managing depression
Journaling helps you:
- control your moods by encouraging positive thinking and self-talk
- stimulating a healthier mind and body
- identifying negative talk and negative beliefs
- helping you identify your triggers
- developing priorities for problems and fears.
- create clarity to make decisions
- track personal growth and progress
- heal emotional pain and trauma
- preserve memories
If you get some writers block in your free writing journey and need some help, try some of these journal prompts.
- If I could talk to my younger self, what would I say?
- What are 20 things that make you smile?
- What is “enough” for you?
- Describe what you want your life to be like in the next 10 years.
- What do you love about life?
- What are your top 5 favorite activities?
- Write a list of questions to which you urgently need answers.
- What can you learn from your biggest mistakes?
- Write a list of everything that inspires you. Books, movies, paintings, quotes, experiences, people.
- What is one topic you need to learn more about to help you live a more fulfilling life?
- Make a list of everything you would like to say “no” to.
- Make a list of everything you would like to say “yes” to.
- Write a letter to someone who contributes to your anxiety. (You don’t have to give it to them).
- What is causing you the most anxiety right now?
- Name 5 things you can do right now to make you feel better.
- How do my worries affect my daily life?
- What is one worry I can put to rest right now?
- Today my victories are…
- Write what you need to hear or what you would tell your friend that was going through the same thing.
- Write out a respectful way to say “no” to someone when asked to do something you don’t really want to do.
In conclusion, I hope you can see how easy it would be to start a journaling routine and all the awesome health benefits. It helped me with one of my biggest breakthroughs for my anxiety and depression. I know it can help you too. If you prefer journal prompts, please take advantage of these 20 journal prompts for positive mental health.
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