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Journaling for Mental Health

Post written by Kailey MarcAurele

journaling for mental health

Journaling can be an integral part of your recovery journey – I know at one point, it had been for me.

I used to always keep a notebook on me because writing out all the feels I had inside was much better than holding them in. If I was feeling stressed out because I had something on my mind in school or at work, I would write in my notebook.

I would write every thought that came to mind and I would just write until I couldn’t write anymore. It was very much word vomit and there would be times I would literally just be talking trash about myself to myself in my journal, but believe it or not, it helped. Getting all those feelings out is very therapeutic. There were times writing in my journal was the only way I would not completely lose my mind. It’s a great outlet if you truly feel like you have no one you can talk to about the dark things that are really going on in your brain.

Later in my recovery journey, I became afraid to write. It was really just a matter of I didn’t want to deal with my issues and I didn’t even want to know what the hell was happening in my brain, so I just chose to shove everything down and not write even though writing was something that REALLY helped me in the past.

When just sitting down and writing was too much for me, I bought myself a journal with daily prompts. It was a journal with prompts for self-discovery, but they have all kinds of these types of journals ranging from mental health prompts to self-care journals. Regardless, these journals are a great way to get you started on writing if you’d like to start journaling, but you’re not sure how or where to start. For me, it became a part of my daily routine and I would look forward to what the next prompt would be.

Benefits of Journaling for Mental Health

I’ve talked about what journaling for mental health has done for me in my recovery, but let me talk about how journaling can help you!

Helps You to Relax

As I had briefly talked about, writing out your stressors is a way to release them from your mind. While it might not completely remove it from your mind, getting it out is much healthier than letting those negative thoughts and emotions continue to circulate in your mind for hours and hours.

Boosts Your Mood

Journaling is a positive outlet to get out negative emotions. Putting all of your thoughts on paper or typing them out on a computer can relieve stress and help you feel much better. Getting in the habit of journaling is an excellent way to reduce depression.

Helps You Stay in Tune With Your Emotions

Journaling is a great way to stay in tune with your emotions. When I’ve felt anxious or stressed, but I wasn’t sure what triggered it, I’ve always found journaling to be extremely helpful. When you write those emotions out on paper along with what might have happened that day, it’s easier to take a step back and have that AH-HA moment of what the cause was, which can be reassuring. It also is a great way to help you reflect and see what kind of things cause you to feel certain emotions.

Can Help You Solve Problems More Effectively

As I mentioned above, getting everything out on paper allows you to be able to step back and reflect. Writing through your issues is a great way to try and solve issues. There have been times that I’ve sat down to write with no intention of trying to solve the issue at hand and I’ve found myself writing out possible solutions to whatever issues I’m dealing with. Most of our anxiety and stress comes from unresolved issues going on in our life. Venting in a journal can help lead you to the solution you need.

Helps You Achieve Your Goals

Journaling can help you achieve long-term and short-term goals. Writing down your goals is an effective way to keep your focus and help you be much more productive. Achieving your goals is a great way to boost your mood and help you feel much better about your life.

Journals for Mental Health

If you’re looking to get started on journaling for your mental health, below are some great journals to help get you started!

Journal Prompts for Mental Health

If you’re looking to get started in any old notebook, below are some journal prompts to get you started!

  1. Make a list of all your emotions right now – what comes to mind first?
  2. Think of the worst emotion or feeling you have right now and write about it.
  3. Think about the best emotion or feeling you have right now and write about it.
  4. List 10 things that made you smile today.
  5. List 3 things that made you feel anxious today.
  6. List 5 things you are currently stressed about.
  7. List 5 things causing you stress, but that YOU have the ability to change.
  8. What situations make you the most fearful?
  9. Is your anxiety worse in public or at home?
  10. How is the way you deal with stress different now than when you were younger?

For more prompt ideas, check out: 50 Therapeutic Journal Prompts for Mental Health and Healing

Takeaways

Journaling can be extremely beneficial for your mental health. Getting in the habit of journaling everyday can help keep your mind healthy. They don’t have to be long, drawn out prompts, even a couple minutes of journaling a day can be helpful!

If you need help now, but you’re not sure where to start, check out our resources page.

journaling for mental health

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