Journaling is something we hear about quite often, whether it is from mental health professionals, friends, or everywhere on social media. Does it help, and where do you even start? There is a lot of information online, and somehow, journaling is starting to feel a lot more complicated than it is.
We tried to simplify it by compiling a list of a few different types, as well as the benefits of journaling; by the end of this blog, we hope that you will have gained a tool that can help you in a few different ways, and we hope you start writing!
Benefits of Journaling:
There are many benefits of journaling. Knowing what you need before you start writing isn’t required, but it might help guide the direction of your writing, and allow you to utilize this skill in the best way possible!
1. Emotional release and stress reduction:
Journaling is a healthy form of coping with complicated feelings or situations. It can help you work through emotions, process stressful situations, and release frustration or stress.
2. Problem-solving and self-reflection:
Through journaling, you can process situations and find better ways to resolve specific problems. Also, journaling can help you gain personal insight as you write down your feelings and thoughts. This is because you get to find behavioral or emotional patterns and find clarity in your experiences. This way, you can understand yourself better and take steps for personal growth.
3. Creativity and memory enhancement:
When you write, you have free reign; creatively, you can start dabbling in poetry, letter writing, and more, which can help enhance your creativity. When you are writing about specific situations or how you felt at a particular moment, it can also help you strengthen your memory.
4. Increasing gratitude:
Writing about what you love, or what you’re grateful for on paper can help change your perspective and make you feel more gratitude for the good things in your life.
5. Setting goals and improving communication:
You can think of journaling as conversation practice; you get to figure out how to say things to certain people, and you also get space to write what you would never say out loud. Another thing writing can help you with is setting your goals for now or the future.
Journaling can be therapeutic in free form, but sometimes, having a specific focus can help you, especially if you’re starting. Here are some ideas of different types of journaling you can begin with.
Types of journaling:
1. Gratitude journaling:
Jot down things that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. No format is necessary, but this journaling method is designed to help you put things in perspective by allowing you to find gratitude in some aspects of your life.
2. Emotional journaling:
Focusing on your feelings can help you make sense of complex emotions and ultimately understand yourself better.
3. Mindfulness journaling:
This type of journaling is the most open-ended. The idea behind mindfulness journaling is writing down your thoughts and feelings without filtering them or judging them.
4. Letter journaling:
You can write letters to yourself or others. You definitely don’t have to send them, but writing in this format can help you address specific situations and people while allowing you to be honest and let it all out!
5. Goal-setting journaling:
As the last one on our list, this technique is the most specific. Setting your goals and writing about your future can help you organize your thoughts and find ways to achieve those goals.
Remember this is for you; there is no word count or grammar check. You write to speak to yourself, to counsel yourself, to put things in perspective, and to be free of any judgment. So don’t impose rules, and don’t treat it like an assignment. Create a space for yourself that makes you feel comfortable; light a candle or play soothing music as you sit down and write.
As therapeutic and as wonderful as journaling can be, it is important to know that it does not replace therapy. If you need additional support with developing your journal practice or finding other coping strategies that suit you, reach out for professional help. Our team of Therapists at Wellness Tree Counseling can help you to develop your coping toolbox. Request a free phone consultation now, so we can help you figure out what you need!
Baikie, K., & Wilhelm, K. (2005). Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(5), 338-346. doi:10.1192/apt.11.5.338
Borkin, S. (2014). The healing power of writing: a therapist's guide to using journaling with clients. WW Norton & Company
About Wellness Tree Counseling...
Our mission at Wellness Tree Counseling is to promote wellness through a culturally sensitive lens so that individuals, families and communities are encouraged to rise to their full potential and engage life in meaningful ways.
Our vision is to provide the BIPOC community with comprehensive holistic care that empowers and equips them with skills to work toward improved mental health and well-being. We take great pride in treating the whole-person.
At Wellness Tree Counseling, we value treating our clients and community with C.A.R.E. (Compassion, Affirming, Respect, & Empathy).
To learn more about our services, please visit www.wellnesstreecounseling.com