Journaling can be one of the best ways to check in with and care for ourselves, and while it may not resonate with everyone as a consistent practice, there are so many benefits from occasionally taking space to write out our thoughts and feelings- even if at first this may feel uncomfortable.
Whether or not you are struggling with mental health, journaling can help to give you a sense of control around your thoughts and emotions and vastly improve your mental wellness.
Journaling can help you:
-Assisting you in recognizing and observing your fears, concerns and thoughts within a safe and non-judgmental space.
-Bring awareness to your triggers. As you take time to write out certain interactions, situations, and thought patterns, you will begin to recognize the experiences that triggered you, therefore giving you the space to be aware of them in daily life so that you can better control and care for them.
-Provides an opportunity for self reflection and positive self talk. Your journal is your sacred space, and you can feel safe to try out new ways of speaking to yourself there. Let your journal be a space of honesty and authenticity, but also one where you practice being kind, gentle, and compassionate to yourself through all experiences.
How to develop a journaling practice:
-Make it easy. Choose a journal and pen that are comfortable to hold and leave them on your bedside; or practice carrying it with you for those moments on the bus, at the park, or in a cafe.
-Do your best to be consistent. You don’t have to journal everyday, but commit to setting aside 5-15 minutes at least once or twice a week for journaling. Bonus points for reaching for it whenever you need a moment of self care.
-Write, draw, and scribble whatever feels right to you. Your journal is a safe and secure space where you can share your deepest thoughts, fears, dreams, and hopes. Let yourself share the truth of your feelings without inhibition, and give yourself complete freedom to put down whatever you want to- whether it makes sense or not. This is a cathartic experience and doesn't need to follow any rules!
Journaling is meant to be a time where you can relax, check in, and find relief from stress and anxiety. It takes practice to build positive habits, but it is worth it. Try replacing 15 minutes of screen time this week with 15 minutes of journaling.
Be patient with yourself, remember that you are supported by this community, and most importantly- when in doubt, write it out!