Self-Love and Acceptance: 7 Mental Health Benefits of Journaling
There's no denying it: the world we live in today is full of negativity. Everywhere we turn, people and organizations are sending us messages that we aren't good enough that our bodies aren't good enough. The constant onslaught of negative news is enough to wear down even the most adjusted people.
That's why it's important to settle in at the end of the day and practice the act of self-care through journaling.
If you aren't sure if you're ready to add this practice to your daily routine, keep reading. We're going to outline the benefits of journaling and why it's the ideal way to keep yourself grounded in a turbulent time.
1. Manage Your Anxiety and Stress
Now more than ever, we're glued to our devices. There's no shame in that. They're what's keeping us connected to the outside world! But that comes along with a heavy price to pay mentally.
But it isn't just the advertisements and subliminal messages we have to be aware of and watch out for. No matter where you turn, there are stressful and possibly devastating news stories to wade through.
Yes, it's important to stay plugged into the global community we live in, but there comes a time when you must unplug and allow yourself to collect your thoughts and refill your own cup.
Journaling, according to Harvard Medical School, specifically about your emotions, can help to ease stress and trauma.
2. Prioritize Your Obstacles
When we're in the thick of a particularly nasty bout of anxiety or depression, it can be difficult to see a path to self-correcting. Someone on the outside may be able to take a look at our situation and tell us what we need to do, but we can't see the proverbial forest through the trees.
Journaling is a great way to help you write down all of your obstacles so you can see them as they are: something to overcome.
Take a few moments to write down the things you're afraid of, what you're concerned about, and what problems you may be facing. From there, you can organize them by how important they are and, one by one, create an action plan to solve them.
3. Work Through Grief
When dealing with the loss of a loved one, writing in a journal can act as a port in a storm.
Regular journal entries will provide you with a place to write down your thoughts and feelings and allow you to address the questions you may want to ask yourself, such as:
- What is the meaning of this loss to me?
- How does this affect the way I see myself, my life, and my future?
- Why is this so distressing?
While these questions may seem absurd to you in the thick of the pain, being able to give a voice or a shape to your grief by answering them can help provide you with some comfort. They will also give you a wonderful therapeutic tool later on down the line when you're ready to read back over them again.
4. A Garden for Positive Self Talk...
Many people get stuck in an endless cycle of negative self-talk. We say things about ourselves that we would never say to anyone else, and when that pattern starts, it can be difficult to escape it.
To feel better about yourself, you need to start saying positive things about yourself. It's the only way to rewire your brain, even if you don't believe it at the start.
Talk about yourself like you're your best friend. Say the things you want to hear. Tell yourself all the good things you've accomplished that day.
Give thanks to yourself and your body for the things it's done to get you to this moment. Remind yourself that your body is good, exactly as it is right now, no qualifier necessary.
You've undoubtedly survived a lot to get here!
Build yourself up with words on paper, and soon your brain will follow suit.
5. ...and a Judgement Free Zone for Negativity
Additionally, a journal can be a great place to vent your frustrations about situations without worrying about backlash.
You don't have to keep your journal a "good vibes only" kind of place. Allow yourself to write about things you're thinking and feeling without any sense of judgment at all.
When you give yourself a chance to vent these frustrations out on paper, you give your brain a chance to process them and, hopefully, let them go so you can move on to other things.
6. Track Your Symptoms for a Professional
Another great mental health benefit of journaling is that it is a physical copy of your symptoms that you can show to a mental health professional. This is often a tool that therapists and counselors don't have access to, and it's something that can help them understand a lot about your daily life so they can help treat you.
Even if seeking help from a mental health professional isn't something you're interested in, journaling can still be a benefit for your physical health as well. Take some time to document any symptoms you think may be important, so your doctors have a better idea of how to take care of you.
7. A Daily Memory Exercise
Lastly, journaling is a chance to jog your memory every day.
Over time, our memories start to decline. It's inevitable. But there are steps you can take to help yourself stay sharp.
Not only does journaling give you a written record of things you want to remember, but the actual act of remembering and writing down important things can be an exercise to improve your memory!
Experience the Many Healing Benefits of Journaling Today
There are many benefits of journaling that can help aid you in your path to mental wellness. From keeping your memory sharp to processing your trauma and grief, picking up journaling is a great habit that can become a coping skill that you use for the rest of your life.
If you're interested in learning more about how journaling can help you in your quest for wellness, contact us for more information about our self care zines today!