Whether you are struggling with some challenging emotions or are just trying to process a bad day, there is one mental health tool that can help you improve your emotional health in all situations. Writing about what is happening in your life right now can now only help improve your mood, but it can also boost your emotional well-being.
Why Journaling Helps
The act of writing about your thoughts and feelings, known as expressive writing, has been shown to improve your psyche and benefit your emotional health. When you write about these things, you feel better and more grounded, and it helps you process feelings and notice patterns of behavior that could be influencing your emotional well-being. Journaling can help lower stress and even improve your memory! The physical act of writing gives you time to reflect on your emotions. Keeping a journal helps you to clarify your feelings and thoughts and can even allow you to access deeply buried emotions that are blocking your emotional development progress. When you write about yourself, it gives a better sense of your identity, as well.
A journal becomes a time capsule for your thoughts and emotions, and when you look back on your entries later, you can learn a great deal about yourself. A journal, therefore, becomes a tool for introspection, which can help you grow and overcome unhealthy habits. When you write things down as they happen, it becomes a record that you can refer to later. Even writing just five minutes per day can have a profound influence on your emotional stability and health. While it may seem like this activity could not possibly be that important, there are decades of research studies that show that journaling is one of the most effective strategies you can use to improve your emotional health.
Tips for Journaling
Many people think they cannot journal because they “aren’t good writers” or they do not have anything interesting to write about. The point of a journal is not for someone else to read it or to entertain others. Instead, it is a way to record your thoughts and lay them on paper, so they no longer occupy space in your mind.
Here are some tips to get you started.
#1. You don’t have to say anything memorable or important. Just write about your day, what you are thinking, or how you are feeling.
#2. Set aside a specific time each day to journal and stick to it. If you do not write every day, that is okay, just be sure you do it regularly and that it has a specific place in your life.
#3. Keep it simple. You do not need to write for hours every day. Just five or ten minutes several times a week is enough.
#4. Don’t worry about how you are writing. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation do not matter. This is for you and you alone, so getting your thoughts down is more important than your style.
#5. Wait for at least a month before you look back on what you have written. Then, get in the habit of re-reading your entries every few months after that.
#6. Keep doing it. The more you make this a habit, the more effective a tool it becomes to improve your emotional health.
Journaling is an effective strategy for dealing with overwhelming emotions or just day-to-day stress. It is something you can do in just five minutes a day, and yet it has a considerable influence on your well-being. Those who journal are more likely to manage their emotions better and have more self-awareness, which all contribute to their well-being and happiness. So, what are you waiting for? Start your journal today!