Do you ever feel like your mind is a jumble of thoughts and emotions? Do you struggle to manage your stress, mood, and anxiety? If so, you may want to consider keeping a diary or journal. Writing can be an effective way to clear your mind and gain clarity. Journaling can provide an opportunity for positive internal conversation and help you identify negative thoughts. It can also be a creative outlet that allows you to take a break from life and relax.
When you do something creative with your hands, your mind has time and space to process thoughts in the background. Keeping a diary can be beneficial for mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. It can also help manage daily stress, regulate your mood, and create a sense of gratitude. You can write about how your day went or reflect on a recent trip.
Writing can also be an outlet for strong emotions that can't be suppressed. Journaling can help you classify the jumble of your mind into words and gain clarity. If you want to learn more about using Bullet Journaling to calm anxiety, you can get my free 5-day email course that will specifically teach you how to do it. Of course, there are some disadvantages and possible negative side effects that can come from keeping a diary.
These include overwhelming emotions, dragging up memories that you would rather leave forgotten, or pushing you into an introspective state that leaves you too focused on your inner experience and neglected from your outer experience. The best practice is to have a regular journaling session. Keeping a diary allows you to capture thoughts on paper, process them in a more analytical and non-emotional way, and then respond appropriately to them. It has even been shown to have an impact on physical well-being; avid journalist and magazine writer Michael Grothaus points out that there are studies that suggest that keeping a diary can strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, help you sleep better, and generally keep you healthier (201).
Studies have also shown that keeping a diary can reduce the frequency of intrusive depressive thoughts, help college students who are vulnerable to depression, and reduce overall levels of depression in those diagnosed with major depressive disorder. If you are looking for some journal prompts to help you become more aware of your emotional responses and how to better manage them, you can download my 30 diary prompts for emotional awareness and self-care. Regardless of the event, habit, or disorder you're struggling to overcome, keeping a journal can help you find healing.