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4 Journaling Techniques for Better Mental Health

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Positive Mental health is fundamental for your emotional, psychological, and social well-being.

In fact, your mind influences not only the way you feel and think but also the way you act.

Sadly, mental health issues have been rising: indeed, the World Health Organization states that there has been a 13% increase in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade, and that about 20% of children and adolescents worldwide have a mental health condition.

Taking care of your mental health has never been more critical. No matter your age, you must look after your mental well-being.

Journaling, the act of writing or drawing in a journal, is a powerful practice that you can use to improve your mental health.

In this blog post, you will discover four journaling techniques to help you take care of your mind and live a happier and more joyful life.

Let’s get into it.

Visual Journaling

The first journaling technique you can use to take care of your mental health is visual journaling.

This method can help you reduce anxiety and negative feelings, such as sadness (Mercer et al., 2010).

To do visual journaling, you need to follow 5 steps:

  • Close your eyes and visualize any negative emotion that you’re feeling
  • Draw the image that you visualized in your journal
  • Reflect on the drawing you made
  • Close your eyes again, and envision a new, more positive image of the negative emotion you drew
  • Draw the new positive image in your journal

Positive Affect Journaling

Positive affect journaling is another powerful journaling technique that you can use to improve your mental well-being.

Research has shown that this form of journaling has the potential to reduce mental distress, especially anxiety symptoms.

To practice this form of journaling, all you have to do is to write about positive aspects of your life and yourself.

Here are some positive affect journaling prompts that you can try:

  • What do you love about yourself?
  • What’s working well in your life?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What are you proud of?
  • What challenges have you overcome?
  • What makes you happy?
  • Who are you thankful for?
  • How do you show love to other people?
  • What do you look forward to in the future?
  • How have others helped you?
  • What are you good at?
  • Describe 10 random acts of kindness you did. How did they make you feel?

Expressive writing

If your mind is troubled by emotionally upsetting (or even traumatic) events, you might want to try expressive writing.

This form of journaling consists in writing about a troubling event in a deep and meaningful way. It has been shown to contribute to decreasing symptoms of depression among individuals with major depressive disorders and students vulnerable to depression.

Here are two expressive writing journaling prompts you can try:

  • Spend the next 15 minutes writing down deep emotions and thoughts about an emotional challenge affecting your life. Make sure to write down your thoughts as they come without worrying about spelling or grammar.
  • Are you feeling worried/stressed/overwhelmed? Write about what is making you feel this way.

Creative writing

Last but not least, you can boost positive emotions and look after your mental well-being through creative writing.

Creative writing is exactly what the term says: creative.

It is a form of artistic expression that includes all forms of writing, such as poetry, screenplays, and fiction, except for “normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature” (Wikipedia, 2022).

Here are some creative journaling prompts:

  • How would a magical forest look?
  • What would a person who’s the exact opposite of you be like?
  • What would you do if you were trapped on an island?
  • Write a poem about your favorite food.
  • What is the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
  • Look around and choose 3 objects that capture your attention. Write a short fantasy story using the selected objects as the main characters.
  • If your favorite music genre was a person, what kind of person would he or she be?
  • Imagine that you suddenly become a bird. How would you show your loved ones that the bird is you?

About the Author: Saori Caterina is a master’s student in International Affairs with a background in Business & Administration. She is extremely passionate about personal development, health, and sustainability. In her free time, you can find her writing for her blog, reading, doing inline skating, singing, or spending time with her loved ones.

Author’s links:

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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