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Journaling for Better Mental Health

Each day, our minds are filled with thousands of thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Thoughts of panic, joy, fear, and anger can circulate throughout the brain and impact mental health. Journaling is a personal and intimate way to explore and grasp emotions.

Why journaling?

Journaling helps manage stress and increases self-awareness. It provides an outlet for openly expressing feelings and serves as a support mechanism to help cope with anxiety or depression. According to the University of Rochester’s Medical Center, journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by:

  • Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns
  • Tracking symptoms day-to-day can help you recognize triggers while learning better ways to control them
  • Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors 

By putting thoughts and feelings into words, it allows you a chance to unpack these feelings and mentally release any pent-up nerves or concerns.

The power of beginning

Sometimes the most challenging part of anything is to start. The intimidation of putting less than pleasant thoughts on paper may seem daunting. The good news: there is no wrong way to journal. Write, scribble, or draw what comes to mind, what feels right, and what seems manageable for you. Note your thoughts in whatever way makes sense to you to face challenges head-on and feel freedom from what is bogging you down. A digital diary, journal, or a few sheets of notebook paper and a pen—and an open mind—are all you need to get started.

If you need help managing your anxiety, coping with depression, or finding a group for support, connect with Valley Oaks Health. Consider an individual or group counseling session to reinforce this newfound independence you have in journaling. Consider your journal your guide on a journey towards emotional awareness and for a better you. 

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