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Journaling and Mental Health

Avoiding unpleasant, difficult emotions or repressing thoughts makes makes your body tense, your mood negative, and your cognition impaired. If you express and process those emotions, you’ll feel better and you will overcome your difficulties. Just like talking about your breakup with your best friend makes you feel better, journaling  lets you process it.

Writing about sad or traumatic experiences  allows you to uncover the meaning in them. Everybody has to discover the meaning of the incidents that are happening to them. One of my favorite books if Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Viktor Frankl is a Holocaust survivor and a psychologist who wrote down his traumatic experiences during the war which helped him survive because he was able to  create a meaning.  

Benefits of Journaling

  • Manage anxiety
  • Reduce stress
  • Cope with depression. 
  • Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns
  • Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them
  • Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Manage triggers for alcohol and substance dependence.

How to journal?

  • Begin anywhere, and don’t worry about spelling and punctuation.  Write quickly and don’t try to make it look or sound perfect. 
  • Make it an everyday habit, even if it’s a few minutes a day. 
  • Make it accessible. Keep your pen and journal handy at all times. If you prefer typing over writing, you can also keep a file on your computer. 
  • Write however you want. It’s totally yours and private. Nobody will read it and nobody will judge you for what you wrote.  
This journal was purchased from C.R. Gibson and this photo was taken at Honor Coffee, Newport Beach, CA. 

Ipek Aykol, LMFT 97315