How Does Journaling Help Mental Health?

Do you remember owning a journal or a diary as a kid? There was a phase where you were completely devoted to pouring your heart out into your journal: fears, worries, happiness, new opportunities, etc. It felt amazing to get it all out and confess how you truly felt.

You may have stopped journaling (or maybe you’re still at it!), but you still remember that feeling of release anytime you wrote your thoughts and feelings down. Well, there is actual science behind this and how journaling can improve your mental health. Let’s dive in . . .

Did you know there is a chemical reaction in your brain when you journal? According to Scientific American, there are many benefits to traditional journaling, such as a dopamine release. A dopamine release is a chemical that helps regulate emotional responses and improves your mood. Your brain feels a weight lifted and pressure removed when you’re able to organize your thoughts all in one place. You’re giving your thoughts, fears, worries, and desires permission to live somewhere else so that your brain can take a break.

“So, what is journaling? And how extensive does it have to be?” you may ask. The good news is journaling is what you make of it. It can be as methodical or simple as you want it to be. It’s simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health. Your mental health is important and journaling is a great way to express yourself and organize your line of thinking.

Your journal can be a helpful tool in managing and organizing your mental health. You’ll also be able to catch patterns (healthy or unhealthy) in your day-to-day life. Journaling can help you manage your anxiety, reduce stress, and cope with depression. It can also help you prioritize your problems and reassess what is worth solving first while your mind can take a break from the others.

Here are just a few other things journaling can help with mental health:

  • Track any triggers and learn ways to better control them

  • Opportunity to recognize negative thinking and switch to positive

  • Prioritization of fears, problems, and concerns

  • Reflection on positive growth and goals you set for yourself

  • Reflection on fears that never came true. It’s encouraging to see that most of your worries never happened to begin with.

  • Identify your stressors and work on a plan to resolve them.

Journaling is a great first step to clearing your mind and working towards a positive and healthier lifestyle. We understand that life can get in the way and sometimes you don’t want to reach for your journal and pen to write out an entire day.

That’s where Compound Journal comes in. It’s easy, simple, reflective, and encourages creating a healthy journaling habit. Compound Journal also sends an end of day reminder so that you’ll remember to jot down your thoughts for the day, your overall mood, and we ask, “If you could re-do today, what would you do differently?”

If you’re looking for something small that will have a very large impact on your day-to-day life, the answer is journaling. We hope you feel motivated to start journaling and treat yourself to something that will serve you long term. You’ll better understand yourself, your environment, your recurring problems and your wants/goals in life. Everything that was once a jumbled up ball of yarn is now laid out in a straight line for you to follow. Remember, your mental health is important.