Journaling Is A Great Tool, But Why?
Journaling is a great coping skill when struggling with mental health. It helps you deal and cope with what is going on around you, allowing you to feel less overwhelmed and anxious.
You may think that journaling doesn’t need a whole article about it. That it’s just journaling, but it’s not, there are so many different types and benefits of journaling.
The purpose of journaling is to help get your thoughts from your mind to the paper. This allows those thoughts to go somewhere else, rather than ping ponging around in your head.
I’m sure many of us know the feeling of a simple thought rolling back and forth in your mind, until all of a sudden you are down this rabbit hole you can’t get out of. Journaling helps that not happen.
Here is as more in-depth article about how great journaling is for your mental health.
How Does Journaling Help Mental Health?
Kind of explained above, journaling removes those thoughts from your mind. So instead of something being constantly on your brain, putting it in writing helps to release you from thinking about it.
That’s not to say that once you write down your problems or emotions that they are gonna go away. No, that’s not how it works unfortunately.
When you are anxious or stressed those emotions take over your brain, and put whatever you are thinking about into hyperdrive. So, that penny sized thought starts to snowball until it is the size of the moon, and you are a nervous wreck.
Journaling allows you to write down that penny sized thought and try to minimize it before it turns into the moon. There are many different methods to do this.
The Rabbit Hole
This is one of my favourite journaling methods. You simply allow yourself to fall down the rabbit hole, but instead of thinking it all you write it all down.
Because your mind runs faster than your hand, it forces you to slow down and see what is true and what your anxiety/stress is lying to you about. Giving you the chance to realize it isn’t as bad as it seems.
One Good Thing, One Bad Thing
Being positive is a good mindset to be in. This journaling method allows you to think about the bad, but makes you think about something that is also good. So then you aren’t completely focusing on all the bad things.
Here your anxious thoughts will start to diminish because now you know that there is positive to think about too.
Calling all the problem solvers out there!
Journaling this way gives you the chance to spill it all out. You can rabbit hole it or you can easily just state your thoughts. But then at the end you problem solve how you are going to fix the thing that is weighing on you.
The resolve is great for when there is confrontation or things like money problems. Where you can come up with a plan to help.
Sometimes you just need to write all your thoughts down just so they aren’t all in your head.
Simply just put it all out there. Visually seeing things is better than internalizing them. Seeing things physically written out can give you a sense of calm.
Your mind has an imagination, and so seeing things as ink and paper is much less scarier than what your brain will come up with.
Some More Benefits of Journaling
Allows You To Heal
While journaling helps you get rid of the fog in your brain from stress, it also helps with other emotions as well, such as grief. It does this in the same way it helps with stress, by allowing you to put those thoughts on paper and see what is true and what isn’t. What are you feeling and why?
Makes Things Make Sense
As I’ve said, if you’re in a stressed state your brain is on overdrive, telling you all the things. Once you stop and slow down your brain starts to make more sense of the situation and what is actually happening. Allowing you to focus on strictly facts to put the puzzle together. Or make sense of all the flowing feelings.
Focuses on Your Goals
When you write something down, that is your way of telling your mind that this thing is important. Whether you write down a goal that you want to achieve or a feeling you had, your brain will remember it easier because you said that was important. This helps you achieve your goals and keep moving forward.
Different Types of Journals
Not all journals are the same. There are many out there that are tailored for all the methods above and more. People recognize that everyone is different, and so there are a wide variety of different types and examples of journaling.
These encompass so much more than just needing to write things down for the purpose of your mental health.
Bullet journals can literally be anything you want them to be. They are a blank or grid journal that you completely make yourself. You make your own pages and set it all up however best suits you.
This is a very creative option, but it is truly so much fun and can help with a lot of different aspects in your life. Here is a link to examples of bullet journals.
This type of journal is specifically for writing. For writing down all your thoughts, good, bad or just something to do. This type gives you loads of room to say what you are feeling and why. Or how this made you feel and how you can fix it.
It is a straight forward, lined journal for you to incorporate any journaling ritual you choose for yourself.
Lists can be very therapeutic because it allows people to stay organized. There are list journals you can get or you can make your own.
Instead of writing out everything you just make lists of it instead. Rather than explaining the whole issue or thought process, you can just list out what you are feeling. You can even include lists inside lists or more than one list an entry.
Sometimes it’s hard to put things on paper, you can’t seem to put words to the things running through your head. Well there are prompted journals for that.
On each page there will be a prompt at the start and you write based on what the prompt is asking. It could be things like, how are you feeling right now? Or what is a memory you want to lay to rest?
Some prompted journals aren’t even about thoughts, emotions and feelings, just random topics to talk about.
One of the greatest attributes of journaling is how truly flexible it is. As I have said many times before, everyone is different and does things differently.
Journaling is a tool that can be done whenever and however you want. It isn’t something that has to be done a certain amount of times or at certain times during the day. You incorporate it into your schedule, not the other way around.
It is something that can be practiced for however long a period you want. Some methods take longer than others, so time sitting down and writing will vary. It will also vary depending on what you want to say.
Journaling also allows you to be creative. It doesn’t have to be just words, you can doodle or anything really. There are also so many different styles of notebooks and journals out there that you can find what suits you and your personality the best.
Writing things out has been proven by many to improve the thought process and help rationalize. Journaling is an outlet for people to express themselves in whatever way they want. It is for yourself to help you.
All in all, journaling is a wonderful tool, not only for your mental health, but as a hobby. It is something that is very releasing and a great coping skill.
Do you journal? Do you use a certain type or a certain method?