Keeping a Journal Helps With Mental Health
By Randi Morse
When a mental health specialist first told me that I should try journaling, I laughed. I couldn't help it, my mind immediately went to the small book I had when I was 12 years old that had a little heart lock on it. Journaling is only something that little kids do, or so I thought. In reality, journaling can be an amazing way to help keep yourself mentally healthy no matter whether you're going through a rough time currently or not.
One of the great things about journaling is that it can be used for a variety of different reasons. For example, if you are struggling with a mental health disorder, journaling allows you to keep track of your ups and your down and what has triggered them. This can go a long way toward helping stabilize your moods while also helping you to learn how to avoid, or how to handle, things that have triggered a downswing in your temperament.
Journaling is also amazing at reducing stress. One study showed that expressive writing, or journaling, can help lower blood pressure and improve the functionality of the liver. Writing about stressful experiences helps your brain to work through whatever situation has occurred while also removing a significant amount of stress from your body, so much so that you may even feel like a weight has physically been lifted off of your shoulders.
When you develop a journaling habit you can experience a number of long-term benefits. One such benefit is the fact that people who journal become much more in tune with their emotions and their inner needs. Psychiatrists will say that journaling helps people to be mindful. Mindfulness is a situation during which you remain present and keep perspective on the things that are important in your life. It helps to get rid of negative emotions, forcing you to focus on all of the priorities in your life. Journaling also unlocks right-brained creativity, which can be amazing for helping with expression and even with your career.
If you're not sure how to start journaling, it's easy: pick up a pen or pencil and buy a book that you like the look of and start writing. You don't have to write about anything specific, you can write about what you did that day, or you can write about the different types of meals you planning to make for the week. Eventually you will start to figure out what type of journaling works best for you. Some people maintain daily schedules and a journal while others use their journal to work through past traumas.
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