Life @ U of T

Introduction

How Journaling Every Day Boosts My Mental Health

How Journaling Every Day Boosts My Mental Health

I’ve been journaling for nearly five years and it’s quickly become one of my most coveted daily practices. I’m passionate about journaling, because it’s one of the few ways that I can relax, de-stress and practice self-care.

I’m not alone. Journaling has been scientifically shown to have positive impacts on sleep, strengthen your immune system, boost your confidence and more. Similar to meditation, it can also really benefit your mental health by re-wiring the pathways in your brain that lead to low mood, anxiety, depression and more. If that’s not enough, consider the fact that it has even been shown to improve IQ and strengthen both concentration and communication skills.

I first began jotting thoughts down in my senior year of high school. Struck by the pen, I’d rush to put my thoughts to paper immediately, regardless of where I was. It didn’t matter whether I was in the middle of an interesting class or spending time with my friends during lunch period, writing was like an itch that I needed to scratch. It was during this time that I began to understand how words have a way of demanding to be heard.

1. Positive Journaling Allows Me To Reframe My Negative Thoughts

Several years later, my journal practice has evolved immensely. I no longer jot down whatever thought comes to mind in stream-of-consciousness. As someone with various mental illnesses, I found that giving voice to all the negative thoughts in my head had little to no positive impact on my mood. Instead, jotting down the negativity, fear and anxiety just gave it room to grow, fester and stagnate in my brain.

On the other hand, I’ve become extremely intentional about ensuring that my journal practice be an escape from low mood or anxiety. In my journal, I discuss the day-to-day aspects of my life, but I make sure to sent frequent, achievable goals that motivate and narrate the story of my life. The consistent process of writing down my academic, career and personal goals has really staved off the anxiety of which I’ve become a chronic sufferer.

spread of bullet/art journal

2. Bullet Journaling Helps Me Stay Organized

Not only do I have a mixed media journal where I combine art and writing, but I’ve also joined the legions of people who make bullet journaling a part of their daily routine. My bullet journal helps me keep track of assignments, readings, tests and essays, and it gives me the opportunity to plan my study strategies way in advance.

3. Positive Affirmations Encourage My Academic Goals

As a university student, it can be easy to compare myself and my grades to those around me. Writing positive affirmations is really helpful in boosting my self-confidence and encouraging me to stay focused on my own skills, talents, and achievements, as opposed to others.

After having taken years off, returning to university and feeling capable of handling the tasks and work has become more difficult. Writing positive affirmations has become a way of reminding myself of my capabilities and strengths, as well as encouraging myself to persist academically.

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