The Mental Health Benefits of Journaling

 

As a writer I’m a little biased when it comes to gushing about the importance of writing things down. However, it has been highlighted in various studies that writing can really aid us in the quest to have a healthy mind.

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So what good can journaling do? We’ve put together a little list of the benefits:

  1. Focus - Journaling can help us to focus in on particular areas of our lives. Examples of subjects people choose to focus on vary from Parenting, Faith, Mental Health, Fitness or even books they’ve read! It is a great tool for cherishing certain areas of your life or for simply taking time to centre your attention on something important to you.

  2. Self Reflection - Throughout our lives we will get called things or told things about ourselves that we inevitably take onboard. These things can be positive but unfortunately they can also be negative and not necessarily true. Journaling can be a centrepiece for self reflection, getting to the core of who we really are without labels or assumptions strangers or even friends have thoughtlessly bestowed on us. Write down true statements of who you are, why you believe you struggle with certain things and perhaps how you think you could overcome these obstacles. Noone has to read it, not even you! Sometimes all we need is to let it out and writing it all down can be a great way to do that.

  3. Manage Stress and Anxiety - Sometimes keeping on top of our mental health can be as simple as finding a way to express how we feel, that’s why keeping a journal can be a helpful tool. Logging how you are feeling on a day to day basis can help to home in on the triggers or recognise stressors that set off anxiety or stress related symptoms. It’s also a great way to record those physical symptoms of stress or anxiety as these differ from person to person but are a very real thing and important to recognise in yourself in order to combat them or become more aware of when they could strike.

  4. Positive Reinforcement - I’m sure we are all guilty of being too hard on ourselves at times. When we start setting goals it can be all too easy to focus on failings in order to improve, as opposed to praising ourselves for how far we’ve come and building on that instead. A journal can be a really intentional way to record how you are proud of yourself, or to take note of special events you worked really hard for regardless of the outcome. This could be anything from a job or promotion to surviving one year of parenthood. Perhaps you’ve finally finished a project or you’ve simply got up each day and carried on through hard times. There is a lot to be said for praising your efforts and remembering the small things you do for yourself that inevitably lead to something much bigger.

  5. Planning & Goal Setting - Organising our lives in one central place can help us to feel more prepared and calm about our busy lives. You may have heard of the Bullet Journal Method, founded by Ryder Carroll. This methodology was designed to help Ryder become more productive in his planning, and has now become a worldwide phenomenon. Essentially it involves organising your life into bulleted lists, so if you’ve never heard of it we highly recommend checking it out. There are many interpretations of Bullet Journaling nowadays (or BuJo for short) some of which are extremely creative and artistic, but Ryder sets out a really simplistic system that is not overwhelming at all. It’s a great place to start if you want to start planning and setting goals that are achievable in the chaos of modern life.

 
Example of a Mental Health Tracker by Estee Janssens via  Unsplash  📷

Example of a Mental Health Tracker by Estee Janssens via Unsplash 📷

 
 

5 Types of Journals you can try:

So now you know the great benefits it can have we’ve put together some ideas on the type of journaling you could try:

 
Gratitude Journal - Doodly
 
  1. Gratitude Journal - Writing down something you are grateful for each day can have a really positive effect on your mental state. If we start the day with a grateful heart then it can really put everything else into perspective. This doesn’t mean the things that hurt or upset us aren’t important, but to avoid falling into a negative spiral it can help to break that up by being thankful for the blessings in life.

  2. Bullet Journal - We’ve told you all about Ryder Carroll’s celebrated system, so why not give it a go? People claim it’s changed their lives so could it do the same for you?

  3. Positivity Journal - Much like the Gratitude Journal, writing something positive each day can start to have a profound effect on our state of mind. This is especially true if you can write positive, truthful statements about yourself. What do you love about yourself? It’s harder than it sounds but loving yourself is a big part of healing from many things life throws at us.

  4. Your Favourite Things - A weekly or monthly round up of your favourite things is a great way to remember movies you’ve seen, news stories that touched you or *that* song you couldn’t help but sing along to in the car every single day. These are little things we may otherwise forget but if we jot them down it will bring us a real sense of joy to read them back in years to come and it helps to connect general memories in time to a soundtrack or poignant moment.

  5. Reading Journal - Are you a bookish kind of person? Then perhaps keeping a journal of all the books you read throughout the year would be a great way to start. You could create your own rating system and keep records of the highs and lows of the books you consume. If you want to read more it’s also an encouraging way to track this and spur you on to get through that ‘to-read’ pile.

Thank you for reading, if you liked what you read please share with others and check out our other blog posts. Why not check out our gorgeous stationery supplies while you’re here 📒😉

For related articles check out these Doodly tips to get started with journaling or our guide to essential Journaling supplies.