How Can You Use Journaling to Improve Your Mental Health

Writing in a journal can significantly improve your mental health and your physical health. Writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them. Journaling and expressive writing has been found to: boost your mood/affect; enhance your sense of well-being; reduce symptoms of depression before an important event (like an exam); reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma; and improve your working memory. It’s hypothesized that writing works to enhance your mental health through guiding previously inhibited emotions (reducing the stress from inhibition), helping you to process difficult events, and allows you to compose a coherent narrative about your experiences. Your journaling will be most effective if you do it daily for about 20 minutes. Begin anywhere, and forget spelling and punctuation. The most important rule of all is that there are no rules. You can read more on how to keep a mental health journal and help yourself get started with these 30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Discovery.

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