Self-care practices can be beneficial whether you’re coping with a mental health problem, adjusting to a significant shift in your life, or handling daily stress. You might want to take journaling into consideration as one particular tool.
Journaling is used by people in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. Continue reading to learn more.
Who Should Journal?
It may be a technique for some people to document particular facets of daily life. Others use journaling as a more impromptu activity and means of processing experiences through creative writing.
Children and teenagers frequently keep diaries, but as people age, the practice tends to fade away. Whatever your age, journaling is a potent, scientifically supported technique that you can find useful for controlling stress and mental health concerns.
Writing in a journal is an example of an expressive coping mechanism, which is a way of processing unpleasant feelings, thoughts, or events. These things can have less influence on you if you write them down.
Can a Journal Help With Anxiety?
Excessive worry and intrusive worrying thoughts are common challenges for people with anxiety disorders. Ruminating, often known as dwelling on unfavorable ideas or circumstances, is prevalent.
By allowing you to externalize your nervous thoughts, put them into words, and then set them aside rather than allowing them to become an obsession, journaling can help you deal with rumination.
You can explore alternatives to anxious thinking by journaling. For instance, you might think, “If I lose my job, I’ll never obtain another one,” if you’re concerned about losing your job.
You may write about your anxiety first, followed by different scenarios: You might lose your job and find one you enjoy better. Alternately, you might continue and be promoted.
Can Journaling Help You With Depression?
Writing that is more emotional considerably reduces depressive symptoms, while less emotional writing does not.
This means that if you want to start journaling to better your mental health, you’ll probably benefit more from focusing on deeper feelings and thoughts than from keeping a standard diary-style record of your everyday activities.
Another specialized strategy for treating depression is to keep a gratitude notebook.
According to research published in 2021, cultivating thankfulness can improve mental health and help combat the unfavorable thought patterns that depression causes. A thankfulness notebook entry might be a shorter piece of expressive writing, or it can just be a list of things you’re grateful for on a particular day.
Can Journaling Help With Trauma Relief?
Processing the traumatic event is typically beneficial for people who have PTSD or other trauma-related symptoms. The best approach to do this is through psychotherapy, while some people may find self-help through journaling.
Consistently writing expressively may help lessen PTSD symptoms, according to a 2015 research paper. Additionally, it implies that writing extensively about a traumatic or stressful incident can aid in PTSD symptom management.
It’s crucial that you look after yourself because expressive writing frequently includes recalling a traumatic event. As a result, it can be a triggering activity. The advice of a therapist or other mental health expert can be helpful as you practice this kind of writing.