Journaling Your Way Back: Improving Mental Health Conditions

[image: Pictured from above - A person holds a quill in their left hand above an open journal. The journal is atop a black and white patterned cloth on a table. 

[image: Pictured from above - A person holds a quill in their left hand above an open journal. The journal is atop a black and white patterned cloth on a table. 

How many frustrated feelings went into your diary as an angsty teen? Even if your consistency wasn't there, I know you wrote down those crazy hormonal feelings at least once in your adolescence. So what happens when we get older? Why do we forget how therapeutic it is to release everything onto the page? I think for some of us, seeing what goes on in our heads on paper is a daunting task. 

Research strongly suggests the power in writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. I struggle with stress-management and anxiety but find myself resisting the benefits of journaling. As I've learned more about the process, it's clear that journaling can help someone:

  • prioritize problems, fears, and concerns

  • track any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them

  • Provide an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors

[Pictured: a woman with long, wavy black hair and a multi-colored shawl stares out of a window while holding a coffee cup.]

[Pictured: a woman with long, wavy black hair and a multi-colored shawl stares out of a window while holding a coffee cup.]

How to get started

Try these tips to help you get started with journaling:

  • Try to write every day. To encourage yourself to write in your journal regularly, set aside a few minutes every day. Don't set expectations beyond the commitment to write regularly. 

  • Write whatever feels right. Your journal doesn't need to follow any particular structure. It's your own private arena to discuss whatever you want. Let the words flow freely without worrying about spelling mistakes or what other people might think.

  • Use your journal as you see fit. You don't have to share your journal with anyone. If you do want to share some of your thoughts with trusted friends and loved ones but don't want to talk about them out loud, you could show them parts of your journal.

Journaling helps you see order when it feels like all you see is chaos. It helps you get to know yourself by revealing your innermost fears, thoughts, and feelings. If you want to get started, but still need more inspiration, try following some  people sharing their journaling journey on the web.

@bulletbeautiful

@bulletbeautiful

Bullet journal: a method of journaling and note-taking that uses bullet points as the core structure. The main idea behind the bullet journal is that you jot down quick notes instead of writing long sentences.