Dealing with mental health problems is never easy. However, keeping a journal may be of big help. Writing down in your journal can help you cope with anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, and depression. A journal can also help you develop better behaviors and habits.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
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Sit Down and Express Everything on Your Mind
One of the best ways of using a journal to process your feelings and thoughts is to write about the things that took place during that day. Talk about the things that happened and how you feel about them. Write down your worries. Continue to write until you feel better or you are already past the time you allotted for journaling.
It is perfectly fine to write anything even if you have no idea what to say. If you continue, you might even uncover some unconscious thoughts or inner feelings you have never unleashed before.
Let Go of Negativities
Everyone goes through conflicts and setbacks in life. Sometimes, however, it might be too difficult to deal with the strong negative emotions triggered by these situations.
Thankfully, your journal is a great tool to help you process these negative emotions and determine the steps you need to take next. Write down a complaint or rant about something going wrong. Or if you like, you can even write a letter to that person who made you feel bad. And no, you don’t have to send it.
Writing down your negative feelings can do wonders to make you calm down. You might even discover the right words to use to express your feelings and emotions to others. Once you are don’t letting go of your negative emotions in the journal, go through what you wrote and decide about the next thing you can do to address the problem.
Identify Triggers with Daily Tracking of Your Moods
Your journal entries can serve as a record of your moods to help you recognize patterns that might evoke your triggers. Write down your feelings during that day either after or before your journal entry.
Review your moods to determine what makes you feel better and what ignites low moods. Doing so will help you make more positive changes that can lift your mood in general.
Follow a Stream of Consciousness Way of Writing
There are times when it is simply impossible to know what is on your mind exactly and nothing is wrong with that. When writing in a stream of consciousness, all you have to do is write down words that come to your mind even when they don’t make any sense at all. Don’t bother with sentence structure or punctuation. Continue to write until a theme or main idea starts to emerge to know how you feel.
Review Your Journal Entries
To enjoy the benefit of your journaling habit, make sure you go back, re-read, and reflect on the things you wrote at a later time. Ponder on your words and how you felt back then. Use it to help you make better decisions or reframe your way of thinking in the future.