I used to keep a diary as a teenager, hiding it in my special secret place so my family would not read it. It helped me deal with life’s struggles as a teen trying to fit in with peers and find my place in life. At the time, I didn’t understand how writing down my thoughts helped me mentally. All I knew was that it felt good to get all that was swirling in my head out on paper.
Are You Mentally Exhausted?
Maybe we don’t use the term diaries as adults, but plenty of people are finding the benefits to jotting down what’s going on inside their minds.
We live in a day and age where life can get super busy. Physically, we run from here to there trying to get a hundred things done in one day. Mentally, we’re just as busy, churning thought after thought like 1,000 hamsters on a wheel.
It can get exhausting.
Plenty of people complain of not being able to fall asleep at night, can’t sit still during the day, and too tired to fully be present for loved ones.
When You’re Tapped Out Mentally
If you’re struggling mentally, there are certainly things you can do to feel better. Mindfulness and meditation are working wonders for millions of people. Taking time daily to just go inside and enjoy quiet is therapeutic. The hardest part is actually making yourself stop long enough to do it.
Some may head to see a counselor to sort things out in their mind. That’s helpful too.
Another practical tool to help when you’re mentally exhausted is journaling, which means writing down your thoughts regularly. Now, you may not be much of a writer. That’s alright. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to journaling. You simply write what you want, when you want.
Journaling can help you get those thoughts that have been swirling in your head onto paper. This can help you feel better mentally. You simply start writing them down, knowing that these are your thoughts, and no one else will be reading them.
To help you get started, here are some helpful tips and benefits of journaling:
You can write in your journal every day, but you don’t have to. If you just want to write several times a week, that’s fine too. Write when you feel like it. You can use a pen and physical journal, or type on your computer or tablet. Do what works for you.
It might help to set aside time to write. Maybe just before you go to bed or while you’re having your coffee in the morning. Try to write where it’s quiet and you can sit comfortably.
What To Write In A Journal
You can write anything you want. Some people write about how their days go, sort of like you would write in a diary. Others write about how they’re feeling about themselves and others.
You can also jot down your short and long-term goals, affirmations, poetry, prayers, and more. The key is to just start writing and see where it leads you.
You may find yourself just writing for a few minutes in the beginning. As you continue journaling regularly, the entries may grow longer. You may even notice that your thought patterns are changing from negative to more positive.
Journaling Reduces Stress
Research indicates that regular journaling reduces anxiety and stress. When you sit down and write, you’re in the present moment. You’re going within to hear what’s going on in the mind and then releasing pent-up feelings on paper. This is therapeutic, reducing anxiety that’s been building in your energetic system.
At the end of each week, re-read that week’s posts. Do you see a change in your thoughts and/or emotions? What keeps popping up over and over? Do you notice any triggers that are causing you to impulsively react to others?
You’ll be able to get to know yourself better as you track your life. You’ll get to know who pushes your buttons most, what situations you should avoid, what you want to do more of, and so on.
At the beginning of each week, set new goals for the coming week. Maybe you want to get out and exercise more. Or perhaps you’d like to meet with friends regularly. Setting new goals is therapeutic and journaling will help keep you accountable.
Make Journaling A Lifelong Practice
Just think about reading your journals years down the road and seeing how your life unfolded. When you make journaling a lifelong practice, you’ll not only feel better mentally, you’ll have created keepsakes that you will cherish down the road.
Start journaling today. Before long, you’ll look forward to penning your thoughts, knowing that you’re practicing self-care for your mind and body.