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Journaling is Good for Your Mental Health

Have you ever heard someone talk about journaling and wondered how that works? We talked to a few of the therapists here at the Family Care Center and this is what we learned.

David Wood LPC, NCC, EEG

Journaling is very helpful for cognitive anxiety as well as existential stress. We think much faster than we write, so writing helps to slow our thinking, follow trains of thought to their rational conclusions, and the general catharsis of seeing an irrational thought in physical form of ink and paper can be very helpful and alleviating. Journaling can also help qualify therapeutic process, looking back on past journal entries and comparing them to current entries can improve progress.

Lisa Johnson M.A, LPC, RPT

It helps organize thoughts, feelings and emotions. When we keep things in our head, it is confusing and increases stress, anxiety and depression. We internalize our feelings and keeping them inside can be debilitating for some. There are many different ways to journal. There is no right or wrong way. It can help track our moods, our daily routines, helps process a situation or argument and helps us detangle all the confusion, frustration, anger, worry, feeling overwhelmed, etc. It can also build our self-esteem, our positivity and remind us how valuable, important, unique and loved we are. Journaling is a healthy way to process and untangle the confusion. There is a dance that happens when we are able to write it down on paper. The connection between our brain and transferring out our fingertips. It helps guide the energy out and place it on the page. Some people also type it but I do not feel it is a therapeutic as it is pen to paper.

Ken Datson LPC

Journaling can be a safe way in which to reconnect with difficult, painful, or traumatic past events. One approach to trauma is to help people to integrate their thoughts with their feelings, journaling can be one way that allows them to do that. In recalling past events, journaling can help to reconnect us with the emotions we experienced in those past events and then find words to express those emotions. This can help to provide meaning and understanding of what happened from a slightly different (less threatening) perspective. Writing down what we are feeling helps us to organize our feelings (we make better sense of them) and what they are trying to tell us. Emotions are not right or wrong per se, they just are, and we need healthy ways to express them. One of the ways to express this release is to “let the paper hold this for you.” Journaling by hand generally has a greater impact than typing one’s journal entries out. When journaling becomes a habit or a regular practice, it can help us look back as see how we have changed since often change occurs gradually and is hard to always see and appreciate in the moment. When combined with tracking how we respond to particular events or circumstances, we can see patterns in how we feel, think, and react which can help in forming future goals for therapy.

So there you have it, journaling can be an effective outlet when of dealing with stressors. The Family Care Center has many great therapists who can talk to you more about journaling or other practices to help deal with emotional issues. If you would like to learn more about our team visit or website or call our intake department at 719-540-2146.