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Journaling and Mental Health



With the new year here, many are looking to be more productive and live a healthier lifestyle. This can be a tough task for many people, but those living with a mental illness may find the task even more daunting. Journaling is a tool that can help everyone stay on track with their goals and is a great outlet for people to write down thoughts, feelings and help free up space in the mind. There are numerous different approaches you can take when it comes to journaling. It is important to start small and be honest in your writings. Remember: journaling is for you and your thoughts/feelings. Remember to be patient with yourself as you begin and work to figure out what works best for you. There are many different things you can journal about, such as:

  • Goals/intentions you have for yourself

  • Negative emotions/experiences

  • Positive emotions/experiences

  • Reflections on your day

Journaling is not a one size fits all activity. It is specific to you, your needs and your goals. When beginning the journaling process, it is important to decide what you want to use your journal for. Before you begin, sit down and answer these questions:

  • What do I hope to get out of using a journal?

  • What do I want to use this journal for?

  • How often do I plan to write?

Remember, your journal is for you. It is a tool to help you, not hinder you. Be patient with yourself and your writings. Start small and see what feels best for you. For more information on journaling and mental health, visit https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/January-2019/How-to-Use-Journaling-as-a-Coping-Tool.

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