Journaling & Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Depression; anxiety; and other disorders are a common theme among writers and authors – including myself. There is something about writing and reading that soothes the mind. If you think about it, this isn’t surprising. It’s been going on for generations.

When I was younger, having a diary was all the rage. Mine was pink with a heart shaped lock. I kept the key well hidden. Inside I poured out my everyday life. It held my thoughts, secrets, and aspirations. When I had a bad day, it made everything seem better after a long entry. An entire generation of young adults never realized what they were in fact doing was a form of self-help for some mental health issues.

Today, although it is basically the same thing, it’s called journaling. It’s widely accepted as an add-on treatment for many stress related disorders. Add on meaning in addition to physician care.

Here’s why:

It helps organize thoughts.

When we write things down, they become clearer. We start to understand more about ourselves and from that can begin to find triggers. In some cases, attacks can even be prevented.

It relieves stress.

Writing is exercise for the mind. When you keep a day-to-day journal, you can begin to recognize patterns connected to stress. Identifying them is half the battle. Once you know what is causing your stress, you can begin to work on removing it from your life.

Understanding yourself.

Writing your thoughts, worries, fears and joys can help you understand yourself and the day-to-day problems you experience. Your journal is a personal journey only you can take. Organizing thoughts and emotions can help bring light to a new level of self-awareness.

Understanding others.

Before you react to something that upset you, write about it. Don’t sit and let your emotions boil. Get it all out – on paper. After, read your entry. Ask yourself, were you over-reacting? Is there a better solution to arguing? Try writing out different responses to the situation.

Please remember self-help projects for mental health are used as aids in addition to physician care. If you, or someone you know, are experiencing symptoms that may be connected to a mental health issue, please seek medical advice.

This article was written for informational purposes only and does not contain any official medical information or advice. If you are interested in participating in this type self-help opportunity, please ask your family doctor about journaling programs in your area.

Thanks for reading The Write Information.