Why journaling is so great for your mental health

Posted by WIRTH Hats on

‘Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is you’re having a relationship with your mind.’ -Natalie Goldberg

From doodles on the corners of your notebooks in school, to the notes you’ve jotted down before an important discussion with a friend, odds are you’ve journaled before–even if it wasn’t your intent to do so.

There’s nothing quite like setting up, or ending your day with a thoughtful journal practice. The practice of unhinging one's thoughts and letting them flow across paper, your laptop screen, or heck– even the notes app on your phone can be simply therapeutic and soul nourishing.

Ready to revisit the art of journaling?

Whether it’s the experience of an emotional release, or an inspiring ritual you’re seeking, journaling just might be the best–and cheapest tool to achieve exactly that. The best part? You can experience the benefits of this practice absolutely whenever you’d like, at absolutely no cost at all. 

Why it works: The science behind journaling 

Journaling requires the application of the analytical and rational left side of the brain. While your left hemisphere is occupied, your right hemisphere (the creative side) is given the freedom to wander and play. This might be why it feels so nourishing to put your pen to paper during a journaling sesh.

Journaling also enables you to sort through disorganized thoughts, and lay them out where you can see them–allowing you to better understand them and release what’s weighing you down. Journaling can also, in particular, help those struggling with PTSD or trauma. 

The benefits of journaling

A few benefits of daily thoughtful scroll across your paper:

  • Boost your mood
  • Help you to manage stress
  • Improve your working memory 
  • Reduce symptoms of depression 
  • Improve self-awareness
  • Express feelings and emotions 
  • Help put thoughts into perspective: Your fears, goals, memories, and even all of those racing thoughts that have a habit of keeping you up at night 
  • Recognize your feelings: Think of it as getting to know yourself better

Have we ever told you how much we simply love journaling?! If you’re feelin’ up for giving it a try with us, here are a few how-to’s to get the ball rolling on your practice.

How to journal

Did you know that you can tailor your journaling practice to your mental health goals, and your lifestyle? Track symptoms day-to-day so that you can identify and better control triggers, identify negative thoughts, or simply give yourself an opportunity for positive self-talk to improve your mood. Enjoy designing your journaling practice uniquely for you.

  • Pick a time to write every day, and schedule around that sacred time. This will help you turn your journaling practice into a daily routine that compliments your lifestyle, rather than gets in the way of it.
  • Set a timer. From five minutes to an hour. During this time, put your phone on silent and enjoy a slice of your day that is truly all for you.
  • Curate a physical space for your journaling. Whether it’s in a comfy spot at your kitchen table with your favourite pen, or at the end of your morning walk using an app you like, pick a space and make it special to you.
  • Write or draw however–and whatever you feel. Jot it down in list format, freewrite, follow a prompt, make it a mental download, or do it doodle style. If it feels right, then you’re on the right track.

The truth is, There’s no wrong way to journal–from a scroll across a page, to a diary, to bullet points on your notes app. Need a prompt? Here are a few of our favourites!

A few of our favourite journal prompts:

  • What am I ready to clear space for this week?
  • How does my body feel right now, in this moment?
  • My happiness list: In order of the best of times.
  • Describe a moment I am particularly proud of this week. 

Sources:

https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-journaling/

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