The benefits of having a journal are many and well-documented. Discover some of them here and check out a free app that could change your life.
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If you want to take up journaling but don’t know where to start, I recommend Sophie Gray’s DiveThru, a guided journaling app that draws on the benefits of having a journal to help you nurture your mental health.
Sophie Gray is the founder of DiveThru, a guided journaling app that helps you DiveThru what you go through. She works with mental health professionals to create guided journaling exercises that help you take charge of your mental wellbeing.
The kids are not alright.
We’re the kids – you and me. More than ever, people are stressed, overwhelmed and anxious.
The internet is flooded with articles that share different ideas and tips to implement into your daily routine to improve your mental health. But, where do you start?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to navigate all the information out there. Because, after all, how do you know what is truly best for you?
Everyone is different. Every mind is different.
So, what if there was one single practice that could cut through the noise to truly find out what you are needing? Cue, journaling.
Journaling came into my life a few years ago. At the time, I had dedicated my life to physical fitness. I was in great shape physically and yet totally ignoring my mental health. And, my mental health was… struggling.
My anxiety and depressive thoughts had been creeping up gradually, but I did my best to shun it away and meet those around me with a smile.
Fake it till you make it, right?
Wrong. The peak of my anxiety culminated on a flight home and led me to opt-out of boarding, instead, choosing to drive over 38 hours to get home.
As I looked to recover, I turned to journaling. After a couple weeks of reaching for my journal each morning, I quickly realized how powerful of a tool it was. It allowed me to embark on a journey of self-examination and self-discovery. It was that one tool that helped me piece my life back together.
As I worked through my flight of panic, I learned how journaling could help me with so much more.
See, that’s the thing about journaling. It is a completely customizable process prompting you, as the writer, to find your own path of self-examination and self-discovery – in whatever way is best for you.
It can take you anywhere from writing on everyday stressors to more specific ‘I can’t believe this happened to me’ moments. Taking the time to reflect on these moments in our lives will not only help us better understand why they are happening but will also help you deal with the emotions that follow suit.
You know that feeling where you just need to vent to someone about what you’re going through, and the moment you do, you feel as if a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders?! Well, that is what journaling does. It allows you to release pent up emotions about your life experiences, which, in turn, helps you better understand yourself in the process.
While the beauty of journaling is that there are so many powerful benefits unique to one’s own experience, here are five of my favourite benefits.
All of us, especially now, are stressed. When we turn to journaling to express our emotions, we help release their intensity.
You’ll Get to Know Yourself Better
You spend every waking moment with yourself, so why not try to understand that person better? We may think we know all about ourselves, but sometimes it feels like we have no idea who we are. By journaling routinely, you can help you better understand yourself. Naturally, understanding yourself a bit (or a whole lot) better will improve your overall quality of life.
Clarifies Your Thoughts and Feelings
Journaling has been shown to help us make sense of the thoughts we are thinking and the feelings that we’re feeling. We would all benefit with some of that.
Solves Problems More Effectively
As a society, we have created a world where problem-solving is often only done from a left-brained, analytical perspective. However, sometimes we have to engage our right-brained more creative and intuitive self. Journaling unlocks that side of our brain and allows us the opportunity to find solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
Resolve Interpersonal Conflicts
Sometimes, people fight. It’s inevitable. But journaling can help. When we write about misunderstandings with others rather than stewing in them, we help ourselves understand another’s point of view.
Have I convinced you to pick up a pen and start writing yet? I sure hope so!
Now that you know the benefits associated with journaling, you might be wondering what exactly to journal about. While the act of journaling itself is as simple as connecting a pen to paper, people often get caught up when their thoughts aren’t as free-flowing as they’d like. So, here are a few of my favourite journaling prompts to get you started:
1. How am I doing?
2. What am I grateful for?
3. I currently feel…
4. What’s stressing you out currently?
5. How do I feel about myself?
While these prompts act as great starting points, there’s so much more one can do with journaling. And, that’s why I created my guided journaling app, DiveThru. We work with mental health professionals to create guided journaling exercises that help our users (YOU!) take charge of their mental wellbeing.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we have made the app completely free. It’s SO important that everyone is able to take control of their own mental well-being, so you will have access to the library of 1000+ guided journaling exercises at no cost.
You can download the DiveThru app by clicking here.
Regardless of where you are on your mental health journey, please know you’re not alone.