Learn to journal to challenge your difficult thoughts & feelings!
At a glance:
- Learn about the benefits of journaling or keeping a diary!
- Explore different ways of writing down your thoughts.
- Begin to challenge difficult thoughts and feelings.
You will need:
- A notebook or several pieces of Paper.
- A Pen or Pencil.
Dealing with difficult thoughts or emotions is not easy. It is something that everyone struggles with from time to time, but it is really important for our mental health, that we take the time to deal with them. It takes practice but there are lots of simple ways to get started. One way that can help challenge difficult thoughts and feelings, is journaling.
So, what is journaling?
Journal writing, or simply journaling, is the act of writing down your thoughts and feelings. It is a way to record how you are feeling and explore your difficult thoughts. Writing down thoughts and feelings is a great way that you can help yourself clear your head, cope with life’s stresses, and let out your emotions.
So, where do I start?
Getting started with journaling or keeping a diary might seem daunting but is very straightforward. There are no rules, no right or wrong, it is simply what works for you! All you need is a pen or pencil and notebook or piece of paper. You could also type it into a phone or laptop.
Set aside 5 to 10 minutes to get started.
Now think about your day. What was good? What was bad? How did you feel? Was there anything that stood out? Anything you particularly want to note down? Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, simply write!
REMEMBER – this journal is just for you! Don’t censor what you are writing – include everything that comes to mind!
Now you have your first journal entry. How does it feel? When you first try to start writing, it can feel weird, and difficult to put your thoughts into words. Give yourself time. Give yourself permission to simply let it all out – whether it makes sense or not!
So, what’s next?
Keeping a journal is all about you! It’s designed to be something you can do as frequent or infrequently as you like. It can be as creative or not, as suits you!
Here are some top tips for keeping a journal:
- Attempt to put aside at least 5 to 10 minutes a day for journaling. Figure out what time of day is best for you. Consider writing in the morning to get all your worries, frustrations, and hopes for the day out of your system. Write in the evening to reflect on your day.
- Try not to view journal writing as a task, instead think of it as an opportunity to grow, develop and clear your head.
- Don’t just write about the good stuff! Journaling is most useful when we write about everything that is on our minds, the good and the bad! You are the only one who will read it, so include everything that matters to you.
- Many people chose to keep a journal that is based around a theme. For example, some people chose to keep a vent diary, scrapbook, photo album or bullet journal. Try out lots of different styles and find out what works best for you.
Coping with difficult thoughts and feelings is something that takes time, so be patient with yourself, and remember if keeping a journal doesn’t work for you, there are lots of other coping strategies you can try.
If you need support, information or advice about coping with difficult thoughts and emotions, chat to us live via our confidential Blether Chat’s every night of the week or pop along to one of our Drop In’s. For more information click here.