Struggling from stress, anxiety, or depression may seem like you’re in a grapple for your life. By far, though, journaling has proven to be an effective way to improve one’s way of thinking. It might sound funny to some, but personally, it has been like a therapeutic way to get through such tough times.
While every single day may feel like you’re breaking down, journaling will do you great. At least, you can express your thoughts and the deepest of feelings no matter how shattered the idea may be. Journaling to relieve stress may even sound funny to some, but the benefits are quite impressive.
Way back in high school, I remember one of my classmates struggling with her emotions – her being an achiever but whose family were falling apart at the time. What one of our guidance counselors encouraged her to do was to write a letter to herself every single day without any reservations. She then monitored the progress of the letters. Again, it might sound crazy, but as the school year went by, she started to regain her old self.
Increasing one’s mental health means creating a relationship with the mind. But when you’re going through stress and anxiety, how can journaling help achieve a healthy mind?
Few journaling benefits in terms of increasing mental health are as follows:
1. The sense of well-being is enhanced.
You can see more of the world after continuously scribbling words. The stress and anxiety that had been building up may turn into teenie bits of happiness since you have been able to turn them into written words.
2. The mood is lifted.
When you get to share your thoughts through journaling, somehow the burden starts to ease out, which leads to a less stressful day ahead. Instead of wearing a frown, it becomes a smile plus it becomes a hobby
3. The symptoms of depression are reduced.
Since you tend to be doing something else that becomes the outlet of your thoughts and feelings, you spend less and less time being bothered about your struggle. There is already a diversion and something that you can read through.
Journaling to relieve stress, especially those who have suffered from trauma serves as a confrontation emotions that had been previously inhibited. The Very Well Mind confirms that writing about traumatic events helps in the process of assessment and exploration of the emotions involved at the time. In addition, another journaling benefit is enabling one to focus on specific areas of his life.
How to Journal for Depression
The following are simple steps on how to journal for depression and you’ll find it’s an effective way out.
Prepare a journal. It can be any journal of your choice.
Choose a time of the day. There’s a perfect time for writing, but also, there’s no definite for every single person. You may be comfortable writing on your journal during the day or in the wee hours of the night. You’re free to choose from. You may even write a couple of times a day or once can be enough for at least 20 minutes. Consistency would be great.
Start scribbling. Don’t pressure yourself with so many words right away. You may start by writing what you feel – regardless if it’s anger or pain.
Pour out your thoughts. Once you have already determined what you feel, you may already write the reasons why you feel angry, burdened, or stressed. This is when you may even start journaling your previous traumatic experience.
Make sure to keep it private. When we’re going through stress and anxiety, especially when we’re journaling about them, the last thing we want to happen is for someone to read it at a time when we’re not yet ready. You may keep it close to keep it safe.
There are several types of journals too. It may be an Emotional Release where you will be able to pour out how your emotions responded to recent events of your life. Also, it may be a Gratitude Journal where you may attract positivity in the sense that you get to acknowledge certain things you’re thankful for every single day.
Finally, there’s a Personal Plan Journal where you get to list down your goals or bucket list every day. This will help you with the organization of your thoughts and plans too.
No matter the type of journal, for as long as you start scribbling words, you’re already doing a great job in wanting to relieve your stress and anxiety. Yes, you’re brave like that because you are made of strong stuff. Let the magic of writing do the trick (*wink!).