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How Can Journaling Benefit Mental Health?

How journaling can help individuals process their thoughts

Mental health is one of the most important aspects of our lives as humans. In recent years, the topic of mental health has become more and more prominent, whether it be through conventional media, social media, work, education or even the ones closest to us. As the discussion of mental health becomes more prevalent, new ways of dealing with or improving one's mental health gets brought to light, and one of these methods is the process of journaling.

What is journaling? How does it link to mental health?

"Journaling is the act of keeping a record of your personal thoughts, feelings, insights and more".

In more detail, journaling allows an individual to express their thoughts on a daily basis, writing how they are currently feeling on a personal record, allowing the individual to process their thoughts and express the thoughts in a written manner, as for some people, they may not feel as if they are at the stage in which they feel comfortable talking about their feelings, therefore making note of these thoughts is a great alternative.

This is where journaling links to mental health, as it is a way of decluttering thoughts that have been on an individual's mind for a period of time, as well as making an individual more aware of these thoughts as they are writing them down physically, and having a permanent form of these thoughts and feelings as well.

What are the most effective ways to journal?

Whilst everyone is different in the way that they process and write down their thoughts, there are certain things to remember that could make the journaling experience more effective.

The first way of using journaling to its full effect is to try and journal every day, by doing this, someone can process and write down what is on their mind every day, not only will this create a routine and a good habit in someone's life, it can help increase clarity in someone's thoughts and can increase the level of understanding of themselves.

Another way to use journaling to its full effect is to not have any structure into the content that is written in the journal. By doing this, an individual can then write or draw whatever they see fit, whatever they view as important and relevant to them, and by doing this, can focus less on what other people may think and strictly use this journal for their own benefit.

Finally it is important to determine when journaling what works and what doesn't work for you as an individual. Like mentioned earlier everyone is different, therefore when writing your thoughts and experiences, find out what parts of the experience are most enjoyable and which parts aren't, as journaling should be seen as something positive and a benefit to an individuals mental health and life, being something that should not be seen as a task and something that can be done in a relaxing setting.

What are the benefits of journaling?

From discussing what journaling is, how it links to mental health and the most effective ways of journaling, it is now important to mention the main benefits that can be gained from completing journaling.

The first benefit of journaling for mental health is reduced stress, as it allows us as individuals to release how we feel and reduce the pressure on ourselves. It was found in a study that out of participants who started journaling, after 12 months 85% of participants founds that journaling was a positive action in their life, again further demonstrating the benefit of journaling.

Another way journaling can be a benefit for mental health is to support in understanding emotions. Instead of trying to ignore and avoid the problem, through journaling, the particular thoughts are made more aware, and can then be addressed in a safe manner, allowing for the thoughts and feeling to be dealt with easier and overall easier to manage.

Not only is journaling beneficial to mental health, it can also link to an increase in someone's physical health as well. Research found in 2018 that when participants had partaken in journaling, they had found that there was reduced blood pressure, increased well being and overall improved mood across the participants. This again demonstrates the many benefits that can occur from journaling on an individual's mental health and overall life.


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