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How Journaling Can Help Your Healing Journey 

Victory Bay

If you face any kind of mental health disorder, journaling may be something that can help you on your healing journey. Journaling is an often overlooked form of therapy and self-care that anyone can take advantage of. 

Mental health disorders are nothing to be ashamed of and are something that many people face. Although there are many ways of treating these disorders, a big part of your healing journey is going to take place in small changes you make on a daily basis. 

In this article, we will be discussing who would benefit from journaling, how you can start journaling, and why it is so beneficial for mental health. 

Who Would Benefit From Journaling? 

Journaling is a type of therapy that is accessible to anyone who has the ability to write. The benefits of journaling are well known since the act of writing your thoughts and feelings has a therapeutic impact on your mind and general mental health. 

Journaling is something that has been encouraged in individuals with symptoms of anxiety and depression, but that isn’t all it can address. Those who have eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, and general mental health disorders could all benefit from the therapeutic impact of writing down their thoughts. 

It is an act that addresses many aspects of mental health, such as releasing emotions, clearing up your mind, and providing stability. Depending on the type of disorder you have, how you approach journaling can create even more of a beneficial impact. 

How to Start Journaling 

Starting the process of journaling can feel overwhelming since there is so much information out there about how to get started. The reality is that this is very simple, and you can approach it in whatever way you feel most comfortable. 

The most important thing is to get started since you will learn how to journal better as you actually do it. Here is a step-by-step process of how to begin journaling. 

Have a Goal 

Before you begin journaling, the main thing you need to do is decide why you are keeping a journal. Some people keep journals for very practical reasons, such as documenting their lives, setting and tracking goals, or keeping track of events in their lives. If you are keeping a journal for mental health reasons, this is going to look a little different. 

Knowing what your end goal for journaling is will help you to approach it in the right way. For instance, do you simply want to release thoughts and emotions so that your mind feels clearer and you have less anxiety? Or do you want to really explore your thoughts and feelings to get to the root cause of your mental health? 

Pick a Journal 

The fun part of journaling is to pick out the journal you will be using. With so much technology available, some people choose the more convenient option of using a digital journal that you can use no matter where you are. Keep in mind that some of the benefits of journaling are lost if you aren’t physically writing down your thoughts. 

If you are choosing a physical journal, you want to pick a journal that fits your lifestyle. It should ideally have a lot of pages so that you can use it for quite a while. 

Some journals provide blank pages, while others may have lines, designs, or different prompts to help you get started. You may find it helpful to start with a journal that has designed pages or page prompts if you feel overwhelmed when you look at a completely blank page. 

Create the Time 

The next thing you need to do when journaling for mental health is to choose a time every day that you can dedicate to journaling. This is easier said than done since this step can make or break how successful your journaling routine is. 

You need to put some thought into this and choose a time that you know you can reliably dedicate to journaling. For many people, this looks like a small portion of time in the morning or in the evening. However, many people do find that they experience more benefits from journaling if they are able to do it in the morning before starting their day. 

How long you choose to journal is entirely up to you and is dependent on how you want to document your thoughts. Some people are able to journal for as little as 10 to 15 minutes, while others may want to spend 20 to 30 minutes. 

Find a Technique 

Another step to take when starting to journal as a beginner is to find a technique that works for you. This is something that will most likely come to you as you actually journal after a few days or a few weeks. Don’t be afraid to try different techniques to see if there is one that you find the most beneficial for your mental health. 

Some techniques include free writing, where you simply write everything that comes into your mind at that moment. Or you may choose to write small journal entries where you are writing on a specific thought or topic that is on your mind. Some journals are guided journals, which provide small prompts to help you start writing. 

You can also journal according to what your goals are for your mental health. For instance, if you struggle with addiction, you could write about how you are feeling and why your recovery journey is so important. Or, if you struggle with an eating disorder, you can write positive affirmations or write about how grateful you are for your body. 

Journal Prompts For Beginners 

If you find a blank page intimidating, it may be a good idea for you to use journal prompts. Here is a brief list of mental health-related journal prompts that are perfect for beginners: 

  • What did you do today that brought joy? 
  • If you had the option, how would you have done today differently? 
  • What emotion are you feeling, and why are you feeling it? 
  • How would you describe yourself in 10 words and why? 
  • Write a letter of forgiveness to someone. 
  • What is one thing you can improve in your life, and how will it impact you? 
  • What is one coping mechanism you have, and is it healthy or harmful? 
  • Write a love letter to yourself. 
  • How did you take care of yourself today? 
  • If you could name one thing holding you back, what would it be? 
  • Describe an item that makes you feel good in your skin. 

Benefits of Journaling Regularly 

Journaling in and of itself is incredibly beneficial for anyone, not just those who have mental health disorders. But if you dedicate yourself to journaling regularly with the goal of improving your mental health, this will have even more significant benefits. 

Here are some examples of the benefits you can expect if you commit yourself to journaling: 

  • Self-discovery: Many people use journaling as a safe and creative way of discovering their true selves and getting in touch with their emotions.  
  • Problem-solving: Journaling has the benefit of helping you to analyze problems and better understand how to overcome them. It can also help bring issues into perspective, especially if they are related to mental health. 
  • Reduce stress: Putting your thoughts on paper helps to clear up your mind, which is automatically going to have a stress-reducing effect. 
  • Mood regulation: If you struggle to regulate how you feel, journaling can provide a space for you to release negative emotions or focus on positive emotions like gratitude. 
  • Healing: Expressing traumatic or negative experiences in your journal is a safe way of allowing yourself to release these thoughts and heal from them. 

Recovery with Victory Bay

At Victory Bay we’re here to help you achieve a new life with a new start in recovery. To learn more about the variety of treatment programs we offer, including mental health, eating disorders, and substance use, contact us today by calling 855.239.5099.