journaling improves mental well-being

This month I want to talk about the simple act of writing and how it can help your mental well-being. Writing, also known as journaling, is a powerful tool to have in your wellness toolkit!

Have you ever pushed down your emotions?

I’m sure all of us, from time to time, have tried to push back or hide our emotions as we find them too uncomfortable to deal with. This is called suppressing. Some people also do this subconsciously, an unhealthy emotional mechanism they may have built during a difficult time, commonly childhood. This is called repressing.

Suppressed/Repressed emotions do not simply go away. They become stuck within the complicated subconscious mind, leading to more bad than good. Emotionally, mentally and physically too!

The Latin derivative for the word emotion, ’emotere,’ literally means energy in motion. “E-motions” need to be expressed and allowed to run through the body to be released.


You need to release those repressed emotions

So this is where journaling comes in…. Journaling allows you to express your thoughts and emotions privately on a piece of paper or on a screen. It allows you an outlet to release an emotion or thought you had to suppress for some reason or another.

I like to call it a “brain dump.” When the mind is whirling with 100 million things that need to get done, dump that into a list to take it out of your mind.

If your emotions and thoughts are overwhelming, release that emotional and mental baggage out of your brain and onto a piece of paper.

Not everyone writes; some people draw to a journal, so it is whatever suits you. 

If you struggle to sleep at night because of an overactive brain, turn on the light and brain dump, lighten the mind so you can sleep. (Also, listening to bedtime meditation or sleep-cast is also very helpful! More on that another month, or email me if you’d like suggested apps)

When you have a problem, and you’re stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing that stress or anxiety. Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and reduce your stress.

Journaling doesn’t just have to be when you need to release the bad or difficult stuff from your brain. You can write about the good things that have happened during the day, how someone did something kind and made you smile, or jot down that brilliant new idea that came to you, that challenge you overcame, or write down your goals and dreams. This can fill you with appreciation and good feelings too!

Here are just a few benefits of journaling;

  • Helps you reduce or manage anxiety
  • Reduces stress
  • Enables you to cope with depression
  • Sharpens your memory
  • Helps you prioritise concerns, problems, and fears
  • Boosts your mood
  • Help you track day-to-day events, so you can recognise triggers and learn ways to control them
  • Provide an opportunity to identify negative thoughts and behaviours
  • Strengthens healthy regulation of emotions  

So how do you do it? 

Get a pen and paper or your phone/laptop and write everything down you feel you need to release. You can also ask yourself questions to dive deep into things. I.e., what changes can I make to help this situation? Is this something I can change? If not, how can I find a way to accept this? Why do I always put off this particular task? Am I being honest with myself? Will this still upset me a year from now?

If you’d like to discover more tools you can have put in your wellness kit check out Healthy Habits For A Healthy mind. 

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