With all the different mental health issues that we have in this world and how they have increased in the last two years, we need practical ways to balance our emotions and an outlet for those feelings. Though there are varying degrees of mental health issues and symptoms many of the treatment options may not work for you. You may also be in a situation where you want to stay away from chemicals or simply can not afford the insurance costs to get the ongoing counseling you need. Journaling may be an answer for your minor to moderate anxiety and mental health issues. Here are a few reasons why journaling is good for your mental health.
Rooting Out the Problems
When you journal, you will likely be doing it during an issue with anxiety or depression. This means your thoughts may be manic, fast, or very slow but emotional. As you write, you will likely start off with what you feel the problem is because that is the immediate issue in your mind. As you move through the writing, you may find yourself moving towards the root of the problem without even realizing it. This can help you find what the root issue is and fix that issue to prevent further mental health issues or, at the very least, reduce them.
Outlets When You are Alone
All too often, we find that our depression or mental health issues occur when we are alone. They may be in the middle of the night when no one is awake or during the day when your friends and family are busy with their own lives and responsibilities. This makes journaling ideal. You can still talk it out and get it out of your system, you are just talking to your journal instead. Being your own coach, through the journaling process!
Figuring Out Triggers
There is an issue with certain mental health issues. You know you are depressed, anxious, stressed, or about to have a mood swing but you may not know what brought it on. Journaling can lead you to figure out the triggers. This allows you to pinpoint them, work through them through reviewing your journal entries, and remove them. Once you can remove the triggers, or avoid them, you can move into a better mental health state and reduce further reactions.
Though journaling will not cure mental health issues, it can help reduce some of the symptoms that cause your day to derail. If you are having increased stress and issues, consider seeking care from a community, therapist or coach for assistance.
What is a Happiness Journal?
When you think of a journal, you may think of weight loss or devotional journals. What you may not think of are happiness journals. You may even wonder what a happiness journal is. Here are some things to know about happiness journals. These key points will help you discover the what and why of this type of journal and how it may benefit you.
Positive versus Negative
A happiness journal moves to focus you on positive aspects of your life. The whole idea is to find something happy in your day or your week. You may have had the worst day possible, but there can be some happiness in it when you look. That is what the journal does. Some of these happiness journals have a happy devotional or inspirational saying. Some are even based on jokes that will give you a laugh, even when the world may seem against you. It is all about being happy even in the midst of depression.
Focus on the Good in the Day
You woke up late, you were late to work, you were written up for being late, and you missed lunch. You ran out of gas on the way home and then got home to find out your toilet has flooded. It is a very bad day. What a happiness journal does is help you focus on the good note of the day. Now, for that example, the good note may only be that you had the money for the gas, broke down one block from the gas station, and your super fixed the toilet and helped you clean up. It may even be that the only happiness is that the day is over and you can start fresh the next day. The point is to focus on that good point and work with it.
Push Yourself Away from Drama and Negativity
Drama and negativity can eat you alive emotionally. You may find that you have a hard time moving away from that. The happiness journal can help. You will find that after a certain amount of time you will start looking for more and more happiness. You will move away from drama-ridden issues or from negative aspects and towards happiness naturally.
If you think a happiness journal is for you, try starting off with simple gratitude entries first. You can work your way up from the things you are thankful for to the things you are happy for. You can even find hidden happiness in your life you may not have realized was there.
Why You Should Start a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals are often confused with happiness journals or some sort of spiritual journal. In fact, many secular people stay away from gratitude journals because they feel like it may be pushing a religious agenda. The truth is, the idea of a gratitude journal has nothing to do with spirituality or religion. It has to do with well-being and changing your life for the better. If you have considered a gratitude journal, but may find you were wrong about what they are, then consider why you should start one today.
Benefits of Mental Health
One of the leading reasons you need to start a gratitude journal is to work through mental health issues you may have naturally. You can start off by listing one thing a day you are thankful for. You will notice that this helps you move out of depression. For example, if you have depression and feel that there is nothing good left in your life, you can use the gratitude journal to show you that you do have things that are good. This can reduce your depression and give you at least one good thing to focus on.
Benefits of Overall Health
When you first start a gratitude journal, you may not see how it could ever improve your overall health. Consider a specific example though and how it would apply to your life. You have depression, you aren’t getting out much, you find yourself alone most of the time, and you are gaining weight. As you start to list the things you are thankful for you, you will start seeing positive things happen. You are not longer focusing on the triggers of your depression. You are starting to look for the things that are good in your day. This will lead you out of the house to find more goodness and gratitude in others. Eventually, you will see that you are more active and happier which leads to reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, and a more positive outlook.
As previously mentioned, you will see an increase in positivity. You may wonder why that is. For the most part it is due to looking for more and more gratitude in life. You will find that posting your gratitude will become like a challenge. You post three things one day, you may want to post five things the next. This will lead to focusing on positive outlooks overall.
The key point to remember with a gratitude journal is that you are writing down the things you are thankful for in your day. You are trying to find some good even in a very bad day or series of days. This positive outlook can help you reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression.
What is Bullet Journaling?
When most people think about journaling, they think of just writing down ideas. You may think of blank journals, using prompts, or just writing down quick information in an effort to reach a goal. For some people, these methods just do not seem to work and they move away from journaling. If this sounds like you, you may want to consider bullet journaling. Here are a few key points to know about it and what it can do for your lifestyle.
Reaching Goals Through Schemes
With bullet journaling, you will likely hear the term schemes thrown around. This refers to the methods you put in place for your bullet journaling and how you plan on working through the different pages. On a basic level, this refers to the symbols you use for different tasks as well as how you manage those tasks. You may, for example, use bullets only for short-term goals or appointments while stars may be long-term goal milestones that indicate a reward for reaching that goal.
Checklist Your Journaling
A bullet journal is all about checklists yourself. It works, in many ways like a to-do list as well as a task manager and journal. You can list your long-term goals, short-term goals, milestone points, daily appointments, and even enter your thoughts on the day. The idea is to reduce your wording and get to a specific goal and meet that goal.
Acknowledging your Accomplishments
At the end of the day, week, or month you can acknowledge your accomplishments with a bullet journal. You decide which works best for you, but ideally what you do is move the tasks to the next day, week, or month. You mark off what you completed and accomplished, what you are no longer interested in completing, and what needs to be changed. This shows you a sense of accomplishment and goals.
Removing goals may sound like a negative of bullet journaling. The truth is, removing your goals can be very helpful. You set the goals when you want to reach them or have a long-term goal in mind. As time goes on your goals change and you may find that certain goals are no longer on your list. These can be removed along with connecting goals and bullet points to free up your tasks.
The main point to remember about bullet journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. You can create your own method, and work with it to get the method that works for you best. It is trial and error, but once you find the best methods for you, then you may find bullet journaling is ideal for your lifestyle. My process has been a combination of all three of these intentions, gratitude, and a habits journal. Sometimes doing a brain dump when I am down, in a bad mood, or don’t want to have an emotional reaction, I dump those emotions in a journal.
If you would like to get started I have some resources for beginning your mindset journey with journaling and positive psychology download for free here mindset-reset
Suzanne ignites ideas, conversation, and connection…her motivational talks and workshops are a combination of innate wisdom, modern tools, and humor to grow communication, connection, leadership, emotional intelligence, productivity, strength, positivity, grit, resilience and a life you love!
Suzanne has condensed 35 years of experience/study in exercise, nutrition, holistic living and delivers it in a 16 step process for living your best life. This practical approach to wellbeing can be delivered be within the containers of coaching, workshops or seminars for individuals and corporations.
Suzanne is described as an “authentic connector, hilarious inspirational thought leader” sharing personal stories, triumphs, struggles with science and research-backed content and the modern tools that you can implement in real life!!
Since 2009, Suzanne has supported entrepreneurs, practice owners and leaders to grow personally and professionally. She is a technology wizard, and a master certified coach (10,000 + hours) with a unique coaching background and a genuine interest in seeing others succeed.
Drawing upon her background as a competitive athlete, 20 years as a Dental Hygienist and the study of positive psychology, the neuroscience of habits, nutrition and personal wellbeing she takes coaching to the next level for her clients. This combination of NLP, Positive Psychology, Emotional Intelligence, High-Performance Habits, Ancient Wisdom & Modern Tools now known as the Taylord Method has been dubbed the “secret weapon” for entrepreneurs.
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