How To Journal For Improved Mental Health

    As soon as you read the title,you were probably thinking:’Oh,not another one of these  pointless articles where they keep going on about how journaling changed their lives.’ Two years ago,I was in the same exact situation,then my psychiatrist recommended it for me.At this point,I thought why not?I proceeded to pick up a composition notebook and ball point pen and decided to commit to it for a month.That one month turned into two and the two turned into a year and the year eventually turned into 2 years.In those 2 years I experiences a myriad of benefits,here are the top five:

  • Improved sleep
  • More aware of my thoughts
  • I achieved more goals
  • I got sick less often(only one time in two years,usually I get sick five times per year)
  • Relating to my second point,I was able get myself back together faster after anxiety attacks

 

   I also think it’s important to note here,that I didn’t just randomly write about my day and then end it at that.I used a format known as the self help form that was specifically meant to target my irrational thoughts and identify the root cause of it and replace it with a healthier thought.

How to apply the self help form:

  1. Identify irrational belief: Failing makes me weak/incompetent
  2. Ask why and give a rational answer:-parental pressure    -I don’t like people see me fail
  3. Replace with a healthier,more rational thought:The people around me made me view failure negatively;something of shame that I must avoid at all costs
  4. Give actionable steps:-Seek learning opportunities   -find joy in the process          -implement the mantra:”My mistakes do not define me”

 

  In order to see the benefits of journaling,you need consistency,so here are five ways to make journaling into a habit:

  1. Block out 30 minutes at a designated time that fits in your schedule and add reminders
  2. Make journaling an enjoyable process(having a journaling playlist or a bar of chocolate)
  3. Set reward system for milestones(if you reach 90 days of journaling,invest in journaling supplies)
  4. A forgotten piece of advice is that its okay if you skip a day or two,just dust yourself off and get back at it.It’s okay to mess up.

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