How Journaling Can Help You Handle Mental Health Concerns

By Dianne M. Daniels | journal

Keeping any type of journal will help you to handle and potentially improve  any mental health concerns you might have, before they become serious issues. However, if you really want to tackle a serious or specific problem you’‘re having, knowing the right type of journal to start, and knowing the potential benefits of journaling will be helpful.

* Boosts Your Mood –– If you really want to boost your mood, keeping a gratitude journal is a great start. All you have to do is once a day, preferably before bed, write down what you’‘re grateful for that day. It might not seem like much, but intentionally focusing on the positive aspects of your day is very powerful for helping you to fall asleep while also feeling positive emotions about your life.

* Increases Your Sense of Well-Being – – As you write out your thoughts, you’ll start seeing challenges you may be experiencing  from a new angle – just because you’‘re opening up your mind to think about it. This is going to make you feel more capable of dealing with whatever happens, because you’ve already considered it and have potential solutions for the challenges coming to the surface.

* Lessens Symptoms of Depression – – Understand that depression is something different, and potentially more serious than ordinary sadness, and that you likely need a counselor or other helping professional to get through it. Writing it all down can make it seem less horrific so that you can feel better, and you’ll be better able to articulate your experience should you seek professional assistance. Journaling will also enable you to look back at days you thought life was “over” and see better days after, reinforcing the outlook that you CAN and WILL get through the difficulties and make it through.

* Reduces Anxiety – – The problem with anxiety is that it was designed to help us get away from immediate danger. It triggers the “fight or flight” response that’s built into the human psyche. If each time you have that anxious feeling you choose to write in your journal how you are feeling and why, you’’ll start to handle the feelings better, and give yourself time to explore alternatives when appropriate..

* Reduces Avoidance Behaviors – – Many people struggling with mental health challenges practice avoidance behaviors such as not going to places that cause them anxiety, or not doing things they need to do, based on how they feel. When you write it out, it helps you get the feelings out, and you can build the capacity and the strength to do the thing anyway.

* You’‘ll Sleep Better –- Pouring your heart out into a journal is a great way to get things off your chest. You can also improve your transition into restful sleep by going to your gratitude journal and writing down what you’‘re thankful for today, and go to sleep thinking of that instead of the challenges.

* Makes You a Kinder Person – Honestly 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. Letting go of judgment for yourself improves your thoughts for others also, and can deepen your understanding.

* Improves Your Memory –– This is almost a situation where you want to say “duh” but it has to be said. Writing down things helps you remember them, because you can go back and read what you’ve written, but also because the act of writing something down enables you to recall it.

One thing that can really help you make your journaling work is to learn how to keep one effectively. Make some journaling rules –  like doing it every day for 21 to 28 days in the beginning to help create a new, positive habit, and keep your journal private unless you decide to let your therapist or counselor see it, or you decide to use it to help others.

The process of journaling is for you and only you for the most part, and it can be a building block on the way to creating and manifesting your DivaStyle life.

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