How Keeping a Journal Improves Your Mental Health

If you don’t write in a journal because you associate it with the dramatic emotions of a teenage girl writing in her diary, think again. Keeping a journal is an excellent way to deal with the difficulties of living with a mental health diagnosis. Regular journal-writing has been proven to be beneficial. Give yourself time to establish writing in your journal as a habit to ensure that you create regular content.

Getting Started With Your Journal

The first step is to decide what form your journal should take. Many people find handwriting in their journals to be the most effective way of organizing their thoughts. It also makes it easy to go back and review previous writings. If you prefer the more modern approach, start a digital journal. Unlike a blog, a journal is meant to be private, so keep it for your eyes only. You may also want to record yourself on video speaking about your general feelings or contemplating a specific event. 

Now pick a regular time to write. Some people prefer writing first thing in the morning. This can help set a tone for the day’s expectations and plan for the challenges ahead. Others like writing in their journal before bedtime. They benefit from reviewing the day and putting it into context. You may find writing on your lunch break, right after work, or some other time fits you best.

Try Interviewing Yourself

To change things up, write a series of questions about a topic you want to delve into, then answer them. For example, ask yourself, “What do I think will happen when I confront my friend about an issue we are having?” or “What steps can I take to speak to myself in a kinder voice?”. The act of interviewing yourself can push you to think things through in an intentional and meaningful way.

If you don’t keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings, it’s worth trying. Writing regularly in a journal helps organize your thoughts and better understand your emotions. It also allows you to see patterns you engage in that may contribute to difficulty coping with mental health issues. Valiant Living offers effective, professional treatment for many mental health problems like depression and anxiety. We offer a wide variety of programs to help you learn to manage your life and make progress that otherwise might seem impossible. Call us now to find out how we can help you! (303) 952-5035.