In many ways decluttering your surroundings is much easier than decluttering your mind.
Anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD and many other problems can cause your brain to be messy, cluttered and overwhelming.
The great thing is, however, journaling can be a great way to find clarity, perspective and to calm a racing mind. The simple task of writing down what’s on your mind, both through structured journalling and through free journalling, can free thoughts and help us gain perspective in life.
Journaling can be an excellent way to increase self-awareness, discover and change habits.
Below are some benefits of journaling:
- Boost your mood and decrease anxiety
- Enhance your sense of well-being and mental health
- Reduce symptoms of depression
- Reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma and for those experiencing PTSD
- Improve your working memory (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005)
- Writing in a journal may also be as effective as CBT, especially when journalling through the cycle.
- One study found people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder reported significantly lower depression scores after three days of writing, 20 minutes per day (Krpan, Kross, Berman, Deldin, Askren, & Jonides, 2013).
The benefits of journaling are overwhelming, especially for those who are struggling with thoughts and distorted thinking. Journaling for me has been such a massive help in engaging with my thought process and stopping spiralling. I try to start each weekday with an hour of writing before the boys wake up, and it puts me in such a better place to start the day.
So, you’ve seen the benefits, now its time to start putting pen to paper. Here are just three ways to help you get started
- Brain Dumping- you write down everything which is going on in your head. Everything. It doesn’t have to be in order, neat or make sense. The idea is getting all your thoughts out on paper means you’re clearing some off the chaos. If these are items which need actioning, you’re able to organise a purposeful approach.
- Gratitude journaling – making a list each day of all the things which you’re grateful for and what effect this has. This is really beneficial when things can seem a bit crap, and you need a pick me up. You can see the joy in the ordinary.
- Structured journal prompts- all over the internet there are journal prompts. I especially like to use these when I’m in a good place and want to do some personal development. These prompts can be whatever you want and below I will list some which youre able to use.
So try it out and let me know how you get on! Maybe even go as far as setting aside 5 minutes everyday to make it a habit!
Want to know one of the most rewarding and holistic ways to heal & make significant life choices that will fully align? Learning to slow down, breath, think, journal, talk, and process before reacting.
– Natasha Potter