5 Ways To Improve Your Mental Health Through Journaling

Krystal Emerson

A woman writing in a journal.Kaboompics/Pexels

Journaling is a great way to improve your mental health. Studies have shown that writing down thoughts and feelings can help with stress, anxiety, and depression. Journaling for just ten minutes a day can make an enormous difference in how you feel on the inside. It's time to stop being afraid of what you think about yourself and start recording it. You'll be surprised at all the things you learn when journaling becomes a regular part of your life.

Everyone has their own way of coping with stress. Some people like to talk to friends, some prefer to exercise, and others might choose to take a nap. But there is one thing that you can do on your own time that will help improve your mental health, and that's journaling. 

Journaling is how we write down our thoughts and feelings to get them out of our minds. The act of writing can be therapeutic since it helps us process what's going on inside of us without having to speak about it outright or share it with someone else. Journaling makes us feel better because we acknowledge and process these emotions instead of just pushing them aside or ignoring them altogether.  

1. Write down your thoughts to help you better understand them

Feelings are complicated. We don't always know why we feel a certain way or what to do when our emotions take over. It isn't easy to understand what you think and feel. It can be hard to express those thoughts and feelings in words. Stress can manifest as anxiety, depression, insomnia, or just an overall feeling of being frazzled and overwhelmed. Thankfully, we can do a lot to manage stress and keep it from taking over our lives. 

Sometimes, we can't figure out what is going on in our own heads. It's like there are thoughts that we want to say, but the words just won't come out. We get frustrated and disappointed with ourselves because nobody understands how hard it is not to articulate our thoughts or feelings. However, understanding where these thoughts and feelings come from can help you better understand them, so you don't have difficulty expressing yourself when they need to be said aloud. 

2. Track what makes you happy and grateful each day

For many people, happiness is a fleeting feeling that can be difficult to maintain. It's important to develop good habits that will help you feel more fulfilled and less stressed. One of the best ways to do this might be to keep a gratitude journal.  

All you have to do is take ten minutes every night before bedtime and write down what made you happy or grateful during your day. Doing so has been shown in studies to lead to increased happiness levels over time.

We all have days where we don't express gratitude as much as we should, and there are many reasons for this. To help make the world a better place, each one of us must take time to reflect on what makes us happy and grateful every day. This will not only bring more joy into your life but also help others be happier too.

3. Set realistic goals for yourself and journal about your progress

What are some ways that we can set realistic goals for ourselves? One way is to journal about our progress in achieving these goals. Journaling allows us to track our progress with goal achievement and provides a space where we can reflect on what went right and what didn't go so well with each goal. 

Don't over-commit or set unrealistic expectations. It's an unfortunate reality that most of us have been in a situation where our mental health is not at its best. Whether it be due to seasonal changes or just general stress, we all need to take care of ourselves. 

One way that you can do this is by setting realistic expectations for yourself and your commitments. It's important to know when the time is right to say "no" so that you don't overcommit and set unrealistic expectations that you're not able to meet.

4. Reflect on what went well today instead of focusing on regretful moments or mistakes from yesterday 

We all have those days where we feel like absolutely nothing went right. Whether it was a fight with our significant other, an argument with a friend, or feeling down for no reason at all, sometimes it can be hard to remember what went well because there's so much negativity in the forefront of your mind. 

Write down a list of what went well for you today, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Reflect on them and journal about them in as much detail as possible. Then, at the end of the day, reflect on these positives instead of focusing on all that is negative in your life. You have no idea how powerful this exercise can be.

It's important to stop and reflect on the good things that happened in your day instead of dwelling on what didn't go well. By journaling or reflecting, you can remind yourself of all the positive experiences you had today and feel better about them.

5. Keep a gratitude journal in which you list 3 things that made you happy every night before bedtime

Keeping a gratitude journal is one way to stay positive and keep life in perspective. A gratitude journal is simply a diary that lists three things you are grateful for each day. Keeping this journal can help you maintain a healthier mindset, sleep better at night, and improve your relationships with other people. 

Research has shown that keeping a gratitude journal can help us do just that. In fact, when people keep track of three things they're grateful for every night before bedtime, their sleep quality improves, and they have better mental health. It's also been found to reduce anxiety levels and increase feelings of purpose in life.

If you've been feeling down lately or need some extra motivation to get through your day, then try adding this gratitude journaling practice to your routine. You'll be surprised by how much it will improve your mood.

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