Improve Your Mental Health by Keeping a Daily Journal

Sometimes it can feel like we have so many racing thoughts that it’s impossible to think clearly. Getting our thoughts down on paper by journaling can be a great way to declutter our minds. Writing down our problems in a daily journal is a great way to gain an objective view of what is going on or help us sole problems that we have been stewing over. Not only does our mental health improve when we take up the practice of journaling, but so does our physical health.
Maud Purcell explains in a PsychCentral article, The Health Benefits of Journaling: “There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being. University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes. Other research indicates that journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.” When we ruminate on negative thoughts, they have a tendency to fester and grow until we begin feeling overwhelmed. Writing about our emotions can be a cathartic experience and give us an objective, analytical view of our problems. The result is that we feel calmer, less stressed, and may even gain new insight into our emotional issues. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help us manage anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with anxiety. Additionally, journaling can help improve mood by: “Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns; tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them; providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors.” Journaling can be a wonderful way to gain insight into our lives and help us through the process of personal growth and self-discovery necessary in our recovery. We don’t need to feel any limitations on what we are writing and should begin by keeping it as simple as possible. Overtime, we may find that our mental health and mood has improved by writing a few sentences every day.

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