• Supriya Mukherjee

How journaling can help your mental health

You must be thinking "who is this girl trying to tell me to do?" For that, I have only one thing to say "please don't be mean, I'll cry"

Cool, now that judgement is out of the way. Let's talk about one of my favorite things to do(nope, not that)

I've been journaling every day for the past 10 months now, so I am basically an expert at this point. This article is about my experience(how it made me feel) and a few tips on how to get started.

How can journaling help you?

1) Getting all your shitty feelings out - There are so many negative emotions that can lead to anxiety. Why not take it out on a page before it spirals in your head? It is like getting rid of all the inaccurate beliefs about yourself so that better, more worthy thoughts can reside in your head.

2) Organize your thoughts - I get confused about 7 different things at once. Writing it all down one by one helps me worry about things in a prioritized sequence.

3) Notice patterns - Once all my thoughts are on a page, I can read it and map patterns of how I had been feeling in the recent past. This helps me realize when my anxiety comes back(my anxiety's name is Chungus and she sucks)

4) Progress - How cool is it, being able to look back at your life and realize how petty you were at 20? All the cringe means that you've grown and you should be proud of your progress. My journal's first page says "was I a piece of shit in my 20s?" and I can't wait to turn 30, read it and answer this question with a definitive "yes".

My unsolicited advice:

1) No pressure - Don't add journaling to your to-do list. It's supposed to help you manage the pressure and negativity, not add to it. Even if you journal twice a month, you are still journaling. Journal whenever you feel like it.

2) Buy your favorite stationery - I started writing because I bought an ink pen, to be honest.

3) It's personal - Noone will read your journal, it's your safe space. Every therapist will ask you to keep a journal for the same reason. Write without the fear of judgement. If your family/roommate has no sense of privacy then hide it in your underwear drawer maybe?

Here are a few things you can write about if you hit a block and still want to keep writing(happens all the time):

1) How are you feeling at this very moment?

2) What did you do today?

3) What is happening around you? How do you feel about it?

4) Old stories that you tell your friends.

5) Emotions you felt throughout the day 6) What are you grateful for today?

7) Things you want to do in a timeline 8) Schedule for the day

9) Literally anything on your mind

Happy Journaling :)

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