In times like these, self-care is more important than ever. And often it’s the simplest actions that can benefit our mental health the most. One of those actions is journaling. By simply writing out your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, putting pen to paper, it can boost your mood and mindfulness, give yourself time for reflection, and ultimately, strengthen your emotional functioning so you can cope better. Here are a few benefits of journaling and how it can help to improve your wellbeing.
Helps You Unwind and De-stress
The habit of journaling even 10-15 minutes every few days can drastically help to alleviate stress. Having an overactive mind that’s swirling with inhibiting thoughts not only induces chronic stress, but it can also lead to physical and emotional health problems. That’s why stress is commonly known as the silent killer. Journaling, similar to meditation, helps calm the mind by giving it something to focus on instead. Studies have shown that by expressing your thoughts and emotions via journaling only one or two times each week, it can help to lower blood pressure and decrease the impact of those stress triggers.
Improves Your Mood
Chronic stress and anxiety are precursors of depression. Without actively forming habits to help manage them, they can lead to severe mood swings and unhealthy methods for coping, such as drug addiction. By getting in the habit of writing down your thoughts, it provides a healthy outlet that evokes mindfulness and keeps you in tune with your emotional needs. This simple habit also helps to regulate your emotions by grounding you and giving you a clearer perspective on things.
It Helps Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence
Journaling is an effective way to develop emotional intelligence and grow as an individual. By helping to manage the stressors in life while identifying common thoughts and patterns, it actively gives you the means to adapt and learn how to cope more easily over time. It also gets your brain involved in a creative process that is naturally very nurturing.
How to Get Started:
Don’t know how to get started with journaling? The first step is to eliminate any expectations of yourself. You don’t need to put a great deal of thought into what you write, or whether your spelling and grammar are correct. The goal is to simply write – anything. What you had for breakfast, how you’re feeling, what you did today. Pick up a notebook and pen and put aside a few minutes before bed to write without censoring yourself. This is one of the easiest ways to practice self-care and better your mental, emotional and physical well-being.Need someone to talk to? At Ottawa Counselling, we offer professional and friendly counselling based on a holistic approach. If you’re struggling and need someone to listen, we can provide a safe space and professional guidance to help get back on your feet again. Contact us today.