Focusing on individual mental health has become a regular practice in modern-day society. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 US adults deals with mental illness each year. However, much talk of mental health seems to be swept under the rug; or, people are too ashamed to talk about it.
But now, after years of mental health and wellness being dismissed by a vast majority of our world, many have now understood its importance. There are several ways to prioritize your own mental health. Several of us struggle to take time to care for our well-being. Journaling is an easy, affordable way that you can incorporate wellbeing practices into your lifestyle. Here is how journaling can help you manage and strengthen your overall mental health.
There is no correct way to journal. The way you journal all comes down to what method you enjoy best. Often journaling is mistaken for writing in a diary. You don’t have to associate these outlets with the stereotypical messages written in what people dub as diaries.
Journaling could include the following:
- Visuals (imagery like scrapbooking, drawings, etc.)
- Feelings, and more.
Along with the choice to use this outlet in whatever style you prefer, you can also decide on multiple options of where you can journal. There are both physical and online notebooks, sticky notes, loose paper, and other options available for your use. Don’t listen to what others perceive because your journaling style is meant to please you.
“Rather than forcing yourself to write in a certain way, follow your individual style instead,” recommends Lila Evans, writer at UKWritings and Simplegrad. “Don’t let any restrictions keep you from what you want to write about in your journal.”
The Benefits Of Journaling
Now that you are aware that you aren’t required to journal in a specific way, let’s look through the benefits of this practice that helps individuals manage their mental health:
Overcoming the Past
Our past often haunts us for longer than we expect. Millions of people deal with unresolved conflict and trauma daily. In fact, the National Council for Behavioral Health has suggested that 70% of US adults (223.4 million people) have experienced some form of trauma at least once in their lives. Sometimes, this issue is due to the fact there has been no closure of life’s hardships.
In that case, journaling can be a solution to overcoming troubling past experiences. Individuals can write about their feelings, recollection, and thoughts on traumatic events. Confronting the past can help people come to terms with negative events, thus overcoming them. This is highly beneficial to both self-growth and personal mental health.
Journaling provides quality time that allows individuals to learn more about themselves. By writing, rereading, and consistently journaling, you can gather insight into the details that make up who you are. Those who lack self-confidence usually fail to participate in activities that introduce them to their individual qualities. Mind.org suggests that the culprits of low self-confidence come from challenging life situations, such as:
- being bullied or abused
- experiencing any form of discrimination
- losing your job, or problems finding work
- problems at work or school
- ongoing stress
- physical health problems
- mental health problems
- relationship problems (i.e., divorce)
- not feeling good about your body or appearance, AND OR
- feeling broke or homeless
The good news is, individuals with established self-confidence prioritize time for self-love. Journaling is a great way to engage in your own self-love. You can try out prompts such as writing down your best skills and traits. You can also learn to appreciate yourself while journaling. After journaling for a while, you may notice a new found confidence and reassurance in yourself.
“Just like journaling, blogging is also a great way to strengthen individual mental health,” reveals Wilma Brooks, blogger at Subjecto and Writemyaustralia. “And, chances are, you’ll inspire others with mental health issues to come out as well. This shows that there’s a community of people who understand each other, saying that no one is alone when it comes to mental health.”
Outlet for Emotions
It’s normal to have limited outlets for the release of your emotions. Some of us have nowhere to go when we need to vent, cry, or seek help. The majority of people have busy lifestyles and can’t always be available to support those around them. Instead of waiting for the supportive people in your life to be by your side at each and every low moment, you can rely on another outlet: journaling.
Journaling is a great outlet for emotional release. Writing down our feelings on paper helps us cope and accept that our emotions are valid. If you can’t reach anyone or don’t have the energy to access support, you can always journal down your thoughts. Intermountain Healthcare suggests that emotional journaling can strengthen emotional functions, which can open up creative vessels from the writer.
No matter if you list your emotions, describe the events, or focus on the positives, journaling is a useful way to have quick comfort.
Learning About Your Priorities
There are always things people want to do, but never end up doing. This habit is harmful to mental health. Journaling is an opportunity to check up on your priorities.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help clear your mind, so that you can see what your priorities are in life and get straight to them. Simply put, you can write down when you want to start and complete any important activities or tasks. Recognizing your priorities will boost your overall happiness.
Potentially, journaling may not be beneficial to your personal mental health. Those who stick with journaling because they enjoy it will notice how mental health management is much easier. If you are wondering if journaling can positively impact you, there is no harm in giving this practice a try.