If you’ve ever felt like holding in your thoughts and feelings through stressful situations has a negative impact on your mental and even physical state, you’re right. However, sometimes we need to confront our own feelings before expressing them to others, and journaling is a great way to do that. Acknowledging our thoughts, feelings, emotions and related actions can reduce the stress and negative impact on our bodies, with a positive result: we feel better.

Getting started with journaling is simpler than you may think. In fact, journaling can be writing, drawing, doodling or typing your personal thoughts, feelings and insights. You don’t need a fancy notebook to start — keep it simple and do what feels right. Ideally, you should journal daily, even if it’s just a few short notes. But even if you only start out by journaling every few days, the benefits will be noticeable right away.

  • You’ll experience reduced stress and anxiety: Writing things down can help you break away from the nonstop cycle of obsessively thinking about the events, by getting your thoughts and feelings out of your system by putting them on paper.
  • You’re able to better process and understand: You can begin to see patterns of how and why you feel a particular way, and this will help you recognize, control and regulate your emotions during future events.
  • It helps you to open up: Seeing your thoughts on paper can help you to process and then express those thoughts to loved ones when you’re up to it. The words you use matter; after writing, try identifying the number of positive words in your writing. This can help improve both your health and overall mood.
Journaling can help you process your feelings in a positive way, and you’ll learn more about yourself as you’re further into your journaling habit.

The Mental Health Benefits of Journaling