Our thoughts are powerful. They are an extension of our consciousness, which transcends through realms beyond the physical.
Oftentimes, the power of our thoughts are kept to the limited capacity in our minds. They flow around in our conscious and subconscious, and while we may act on some thoughts, most of them torment us in a whirlpool of wonder and chaos.
When we bring our thoughts to the physical realm verbally or in written form, we give material power to our thoughts. When we write affirmations, we are giving power to the forces of manifestation. When we write about our goals and our progress, we are giving power to the forces of self-reflection.
Journaling is a strong tool for self-reflection as it allows us to take our thoughts out of our mind and apply them to paper (aka the physical). Even if you aren’t journaling about affirmations or reflecting on your growth, journaling is just straight up therapeutic. When in doubt, write it out!
The Benefits of Journaling
Self expression is an incredible tool for mental health. Specifically, journaling can help with:
- Managing anxiety and depression
- Lowering stress
- Uplifting mood
- Working through problems and fear
- Identifying negative thoughts and behaviors
If your goal is to get a better grip on your mental health, then journaling is a key tool. It’s so much easier to work through our strengths and weaknesses when we write them down on paper, as opposed to attempting to sort it out through our never-ending mental dialogue.
If you’re not a “strong” writer, then your mind can easily convince you that you’re just not cut out for journaling. Well, I’m here to tell you that journaling is an essential tool for everyone. So, here’s a few tips to help you get started and combat those feelings of resistance.
Steps to Beginning Your Journaling Journey
Of course, the first step to journaling is to buy a journal! I personally love buying journals that speak to me and get me excited to write. But, don’t get too caught up on the aesthetique. Your journal can be as simple as a ringed notebook or a composition book.
Once you have a journal, follow these steps for self-reflection.
- Let go of the idea that you have to be a good writer or know exactly what you want to say
- Let go of the notion to impress with your writing. Nobody is going to read your journal; this work is solely for you. Dismiss any ideas of what your writing “should be,” and embrace getting real with yourself.
- If you get “writer’s block,” simply start writing— about anything. Describe what you did that day, how it made you feel, the interactions you had, what you intended to do, what you didn’t do, what you hope to do tomorrow. The idea here is to establish a writing flow.
- If you’re anxious or stressed about something, write about it. Why did this particular situation or person ignite feelings of anxiety? Were outside forces solely to blame, or did you indirectly contribute to your own problem? What can you do differently next time to cope with these feelings?
- Allocate at least five minutes everyday to journaling. Make it part of your morning routine!
At the beginning, you want to get into a habit of journaling honestly and openly with yourself. Over time, you’ll recognize the therapeutic benefits of journaling and develop your own processes for self-reflection.
However, if writing on your own without direction is daunting, check out these amazing journaling resources (pssst...they’re free!) to help you work through your mind and develop your power!
- The Journal Life: 21 Journaling Prompts Ebook and the Positivity Workbook
- Maria Henning: Self Trust Workbook
- Amber Rae’s 30 Day Journal Your Feelings Guide
Even if writing isn’t your “thing,” you will be absolutely blown away by the power of journaling and its effects on mental health. Give it a try; you won’t regret it!