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Keeping journals or diaries has been a long time tradition. If you look back through history you will find that successful people have kept journals. People keep journals for different reasons, such as records, keeping track of daily habits, organizing their thoughts and so on.
If you suffer from a mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder or any of the many other types of mental illnesses you may find that journaling will benefit you. It’s an easy practice and all you need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Some people prefer to use a journaling book, their computer for electronic journaling or even apps that help with the journaling process.
Surprisingly there is evidence that journaling can have a positive impact on our physical well-being. Regular journaling strengthens our immune cells. There is also research evidence that journaling can decrease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
There is more evidence that journaling has a positive experience in our lives. When we are journaling we access the left brain, which is the rational and analytical side of the brain. Since your left brain is being kept busy this leaves the right side of your brain free to create and feel. Writing removes mental blocks and can also help you in better understanding yourself.
One of the best ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy outlet for it in order to express yourself, which makes journaling the perfect opportunity and outlet to get things out of your head. Here are a few things that journaling can help with:
- Reducing stress.
- Managing anxiety.
- Better coping with depression.
Journaling will help you to improve your mood and control your symptoms by:
- Being able to track symptoms day-to-day which will allow you to recognize triggers better and learn betters ways of controlling them.
- Giving an opportunity for a session of positive self-talk and also helping you to identify negative behaviors and thoughts.
- Giving help in prioritizing concerns, fears, and problems.
By keeping a journal you are helping yourself to identify what is keeping you stressed out. This will help you in creating a plan to help deal with and resolve the problems you are experiencing which will help you to reduce stress.
It’s a good idea that keeping a journal is only one way of creating a healthy lifestyle in order to manage your stress better, control your anxiety and keep a healthy mental condition. To get the best benefits it’s also good to:
- Introduce meditation and relaxation every day as a routine.
- Have a regular exercise routine.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Have a balanced diet by eating nutritious foods.
- Get the proper amount of sleep each night.
Some quick tips to help you get started journaling:
- Write every day. It doesn’t matter how long the journal entry is, the important part is that you write regularly to get into the habit and write whatever comes to mind.
- Keep a pen and paper nearby at all times in case you feel the inspiration to write something or have an app on your phone to always have access to your journal and write whenever you can.
- Write what feels right to you. This is about you and what you feel you need to write about. You don’t need to share your journal so there is no need for anyone else to ever see it. Get your thoughts and emotions out of yourself and onto paper or into a journal app.
- Use the journal how you want to use it. It doesn’t have to be structured in any specific way.