A Daily Journal Helps You Heal in Mental Illness Recovery
A daily journal becomes a powerful tool when it comes to mental illness recovery because it allows you to get out of your head and onto paper. Oftentimes when someone is recovering from mental illness, they spend a lot of time alone or feeling lonely (even if they are around other people), and he or she is usually in his or her head with his or her thoughts. When you are able to write down your thoughts, your feelings, your beliefs, and what you are going through, something magical happens. You find so much clarity and peace in that practice, one of the many mental health benefits of journaling. Keeping a daily journal will aid your mental illness recovery.
Why Is a Daily Journal Good for Mental Illness Recovery?
As mentioned above, journaling allows you to get out of your head. It gives you an outlet to express yourself, rather than just sitting in your own mind with your thoughts. A lot of the time when writing in a daily journal, you may find that your thoughts don't make sense or they have a common theme. This can allow you to bring more awareness to what you are suffering from and this awareness can be the first step to mental illness recovery.
A lot of the times, we aren't taught how to process, deal with, or feel our emotions and a daily journal can help a tremendous amount with that. Rather than distract yourself with TV, food, sleep, drugs, sex, alcohol, social media scrolling, or any other negative coping mechanism, when you write, you are processing emotion in a healthier way, one where you are more connected to yourself and able to feel your emotions on a deeper level.
What Can You Write About When Journaling for Mental Illness Recovery?
One of the easiest journaling techniques for mental health is to write about anything and everything you want. You may feel stuck at first, you may feel a lot of resistance towards the practice of daily journaling but just keep doing it regardless. Write about your day, write about what you are going through, trust me, when you are experiencing something important, it will come through on the pages of your journal.
If you want more prompt-like journal entries, journaling topics for mental health include the 5-4-3-2-1 journal prompt for list-making or writing a letter to yourself, guiding yourself to a more positive and healthy future. You can also write a letter coming from your fear or sadness and really express what you are afraid of, what you are feeling and let it all out on paper rather than keeping it in your mind and your thoughts.
Who Has the Time to Keep a Daily Journal?
You do. I know we are all extremely busy people with a lot going on, a lot of responsibilities and not much free time. But I challenge you: Wake up a few minutes earlier to create the time and space you need to start your day on a super positive and loving note. You only need a few minutes to journal, five minutes to yourself in the morning is going to change the landscape of your entire day. You may even find that you start enjoying it so much you want to wake up earlier to have even more time to yourself.
I believe that the busiest people are the ones that need to use a recovery journal for mental health because they have so much going on they never take the time to just stop and breathe. So, put those pens to paper, and watch the healing nature of daily journaling unfold.
Zacharakis, N. (2017, November 21). A Daily Journal Helps You Heal in Mental Illness Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, May 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2017/11/journaling-as-a-tool-for-recovering-from-mental-illness
Author: Nancy Zacharakis
I love journaling, but recently it's been hard for me because I'm afraid of my own thoughts. How do you suggest I get past this obstacle?
Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much for commenting and asking this great question. I'm really glad you love journaling, that is amazing. Even if you are afraid of your own thoughts, they are there in your mind, whether or not you are writing them down in a journal. I would suggest writing them down in a journal and then going back over your thoughts and see how you can change each thought from a place of fear into a place of love. Because the only real truth is that which comes from love.