How Journaling Can Improve our Mental Health
It’s possible you haven’t journaled since keeping a diary in middle school, but there are many good reasons to pick up the pen again. Journaling is a surprisingly beneficial tool for your mental health. Keeping a journal doesn’t take up much time, and it’s especially helpful on difficult days or if you struggle with depression, stress or anxiety.
The Benefits of Journaling
Plenty of studies and anecdotal evidence prove that keeping a journal is mentally beneficial . Journaling for just a few minutes a day can help you:
- Cope with negative feelings. Journaling helps you process unpleasant emotions and better manage stress, anxiety and depression. It’s a healthy way to express these feelings and reduce their intensity and impact.
- Get through tough times. A 2006 study found that people who dealt with a stressful event experienced a reduction in sadness, anxiety and worry after journaling for just 15 minutes.
- Get sick less often. Some studies have shown that journaling can actually boost immunity. The healthier you are, the better you’ll feel mentally.
- Improve your mood. Journaling can help you feel more at peace because it allows you to identify and address the things that worry or scare you. It also gives you the opportunity to engage in positive self-talk, a proven mood booster.
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings. A journal is an excellent tool for sorting out what you’re feeling and thinking during a confusing time. It can bring clarity to a difficult situation.
- Set goals and track progress. Journaling is great for setting goals to improve your mental health. It will also help you stay on top of your progress and make adjustments.
How to Journal for Better Mental Health
There are no hard-and-fast rules for journaling. Do it in a way that works for your needs, schedule and time. To get started, try these tips:
- Choose the medium you like best. This could be your computer or a paper journal and a pen or pencil.
- Set a goal to write every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes. This will help you turn journaling into a habit.
- Write about whatever you want, but don’t be afraid to express difficult emotions. You’ll get the most mental health benefits by targeting challenging, uncomfortable thoughts and situations. Remember that no one else ever has to see what you write.
- Express yourself in whichever way feels right to you. Some people like to be direct and focused. Others use creative writing prompts. You may even want to draw in your journal.
Journaling is a great way to bring order and mindfulness into your life and improve your mental health . Along with other positive habits, like meditation and getting enough sleep each night, a journal is a great tool for making sense of the world and your place in it. Give journaling a try. You’ll start seeing the benefits right away.
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