Mental Health and Journaling

As I write this post it is World Mental Health Day 2019 and I have been engaging (on Twitter) with various organisations and many of my connections. They have been sharing their thoughts and their own mental health journeys. I am immensely privlidged to have so many connections who share their own challenges and journeys.

All of us are on journeys and as those who have read other posts from me on various sites will be aware I am a great advocate of Journaling. It is an amazing way of capturing those journeys and in particular our learning from them.

The one area I have probably not covered before is how I find that Journaling (and that can include blogging) can help us with our mental health.

I am a firm believer that keeping any type of journal can help with improving our mental health. I therefore thought that today would be an appropriate one on which to share some thoughts on that and how it can help.

Boosts Your Mood

If you really want to boost your mood, keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to go. All you have to do is once a day, preferably before bed, write down what you’re grateful for today. It might not seem like much but it’s very powerful for going to sleep, thinking positively about your life. One of the things that a number of my connections do is jot down “Three Good Things” each day. Some even use hashtags on Twitter such as #3GoodThings or #ThreeGoodThings to share them with others.

Increases Your Sense of Well-Being

When you write out your thoughts, you will hopefully start seeing issues from a new angle. That’s because you are opening your mind to think about it. This is going to make you feel more capable of dealing with whatever happens.

Reduces Anxiety

The problem with anxiety is that the aim of the feeling is to help us get away from immediate danger. It triggers the “fight or flight” response. If each time you have that anxious feeling you choose to write in your journal how you are feeling and why, you will find that you start to control it better.

Sleep Better

Writing down your feels and reflecting on them in a journal can be a great way to get things off your chest. However, when it comes to time for sleep, I would very strongly recommend the gratitude journal. In this you are writing down what you are thankful for today and go to sleep thinking of that.

Makes You a Kinder Person

Exploring your own emotional state and accepting your own feelings while you work through what makes you who you are in your journal is going to make you naturally more empathetic to others too. Letting go of judgement for self improves your thoughts for others also.

One thing that can really help you make your journaling work is to learn how to keep one effectively. Make some journaling rules, do it every day to create a habit, and keep it private unless you decide to use it to help others. This is for you and only you for the most part.

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