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Journaling for mental health

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

It is also a great way of focusing on your thoughts and feelings and developing Sometimes putting pen to paper can make us aware of what we’re feeling and why we’re feeling this way.

When you have a problem and you're stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing that stress or anxiety. Once you’ve identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and reduce your stress.

There are many ways to approach your journaling. Some people prefer to have something to fill out, like a colouring book or pre-written questions to answer. Or you might prefer to jot things down (like incomplete sentences) or express their creativity by drawing stuff. There’s no ‘right’ way to starting a journal, as everyone will use them differently.

Whether you want to use it to draw, or reflect on your thoughts and feelings, there are a few strategies you can use to start journaling:

  • Do it regularly: Having a journal doesn’t mean you have to write in it every day. Start small. Even 5 minutes a day can help get you in habit of writing (which doesn’t come easy at first). Doing it regularly can help you blend it into your day.

  • Write it on a calendar: Instead of a blank notebook to journal in, get a date book or desk calendar and then start writing a sentence or two every day.

  • Use a template: Sticking to a structure, like bullet journaling or gratitude journaling, can make it easier to get started. Your template might include some gratitude journaling, like: ‘Ten things I am grateful for’ or ‘Four things that are inspiring me today’.

  • Use an App: It doesn’t need to be in a physical diary or journal. Try an app where you can keep practising – it’s great to use on public transport or when you’re on the go. My personal favourite is one called Day One ( Its easy to use, secure and able to work on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can insert songs, photos, memes and even voice recordings into your journal as well.

Writing in a journal can be effective in providing you some space to work through and address any issues you might be struggling with internally and work them out. It can also assist you find ways to recognise our actions and then try and change them.

It is also a really effective way to bring out underlying issues that you can then discuss with your counsellor, further improving your ability to move forward in addressing them together in a safe and supportive environment.

If you would like to explore how journaling could assist you with working through personal issues and gain more clarity, please feel free to get in touch. I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation, or if you would like to make an appointment for either a face to face or online counselling session whichever is convenient.

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