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Mental Health

How Journaling Can Improve Your Mental Health

Many of us grew up with a sacred diary that we scribbled our deepest and darkest secrets inside. What we didn’t know is that journaling is a healthy and easily accessible method of expressing the hard to describe feelings. There are moments that we want nothing more than to express our feelings to a trusted friend but nothing seems to come out due to anxious feelings, or not understanding our own emotions. Journaling serves as an outlet to express our thoughts without feeling as if we are burdening the ones we love.

There are many benefits of journaling, putting our thoughts on paper is a great way to self-reflect and organize the constant chatter in our heads. Our thought move faster than we can write, I’ve noticed that by the time I have written a complete sentence, five scenarios have gone through my head along with twenty different thoughts. Journaling also helps us manage our stress and anxiety, this can help us identify the root of the problem. Once we understand what we are going through, we can better prepare ourselves and find a solution.

During these past two years, I can say that I’ve experienced one of the worst mental health crisis along with the rest of the world. I started self-medicating, I alienated myself from those I care about the most and struggled with suicidal thoughts. I attempted to seek professional help but the US health care system isn’t the best, and as a college student, a therapist definitely wasn’t the best financial decision. Once I realized that my mental health kept declining, I began to do some research on alternative methods of therapy and eventually bought myself a journal. The first few times I attempted to write a journal entry, my mind drew a blank. It was as if all of my problems went away the second my pen touched the paper. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I learned that there many different kinds of journaling, such as dream journals, daily journals, goals, and gratitude journals.  Journaling about my day was ineffective for me, I felt nothing after writing, which eventually led me to stop. But I never gave up. I later found out about shadow work, which is working and understanding the parts of us that we have kept hidden and repressed by getting to the root of the issue. I started working on my shadow self starting with some journaling prompts.

Keep in mind that journaling can take place anywhere, therefore, anytime you start feeling overwhelmed, pull out your journal or notes app and begin writing.

-hcxo

Lude Jose

Valdosta '24

Not too sure about life but I'm here for it all.
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