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You might not keep a journal, but it can help with many areas of your life, including practicing self-care. Anyone who wants to focus on bettering their lives, improving their thoughts, and gaining control of their feelings should begin to journal. It’s not only a good habit that helps you get to know yourself, it’s also a habit that helps you with your self-care. Did you know self-care is vital to the success you have in life no matter how you define success in your life? If you’re not familiar with journaling, perhaps learning how using your journal for self-care will help you change the way you live and think.

Write What You Feel

The thing about a journal is you’re meant to keep it private. It’s not for anyone else. You might take great care in posting status updates on the internet or composing emails to your mother, but you’re not required to be careful what you say when you journal. You’re allowed to write down anything you feel, and that’s what you should do. Don’t worry about your handwriting, your incomplete sentences, or even your spelling.

Write what you feel, and use that to learn about yourself. You can look back in your journal to read how you really felt, but also to learn about yourself based on the appearance of your handwriting, the jumbled thoughts, and so much more. You get to observe your own feelings later, which can help you understand yourself far better.

Empty Your Mind

Journaling is amazing when you have so much in your mind you can’t focus on anything else. When you feel overwhelmed and unhappy, go ahead and focus on the things that matter the most to you by writing down what’s in your mind and getting it out. All the little things that bothered you are now out of your mind and on a piece of paper, and you feel as if you worked through things. Now your mind is clear to focus on what matters.

Include Gratitude

Each day, try to write down at least three things you’re grateful for. It can be something as big as being grateful for the sun rising. It can be as small as being grateful you had an extra pair of pants in the car for your little one after he had a little accident. It can be nothing that seems significant at all. Maybe you’re just grateful for coffee because it puts you in a good mood. Whatever it is, write it down.

When you can see the things you’re grateful for on a tangible list, you’re able to focus on being very happy for those things. You’re able to focus on what they mean to you, and you get to remind yourself how much you have to be thankful for any time you re-read your journal.

Put Your Dreams to Paper

The problem with dreams is that they can come true, and there is nothing preventing you from making them happen but you. You let people tell you your dreams are too big, too silly, too unattainable. Do you think Brad Pitt woke up as a child and say he was going to be a superstar and everyone told him he was? That’s probably not true. He had a dream, and he went for it. Walt Disney did not wake up and decide he was going to build Disney World, at a very young age.

If you put your dreams to paper, they seem more realistic and even more attainable. Perhaps you want to do something amazing like start your own business. Write it down. Write down your dreams. When you see them on paper, they seem more realistic. Perhaps your attempt at self-care is going to provide you with the bravery you need to get out there and make your dreams come true.

Practice 5-Minute Journaling

This is a significant form of stress relief. The days are long, and they are filled with moments that cause you stress. Everything causes stress if you allow it, but spending five minutes at the end of each day writing in your journal. Write whatever comes to mind. Write the alphabet. Write your name. Doodle things that come to mind. This is your way of relieving your stress by putting pen to paper or your fingers to your keyboard. Whatever it takes to ease your stress in five minutes is what you do.

The world is filled with chaos, but there’s no reason your mind needs to be filled with chaos. Write it down. Whatever you’re thinking of, feeling, or experiencing in life is worth being put on a piece of paper. It’s self-care that doesn’t feel like much work, but it provides satisfaction you might not imagine possible.

Here is a very helpful youtube video about journaling for mental health

Now it’s widely discussed, many people are taking it more seriously than ever before, and the people who suffer from mental health problems feel less of a stigma. When your mental health is in question, one thing your doctor might ask you to do is journal. There are many types of journals you can create to help you, and each one of them helps you in a different manner. Discovering what type and how your journal can help is going to help you focus on getting better.

Mindfulness Journals The art of being mindful takes practice. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly takes practice. The great news about being mindful, though, is you’re focusing on being more present at any given moment. One of the most well-received ways to keep a mindfulness journal is to create come up with a certain number of “Mindful Moments” to write down at the end of each day.

For example, if your journal focuses on “4 Mindful Moments,” you’ll write down four moments each day you felt you were especially mindful. Perhaps you really noticed the way the roses in your garden smell and you took a few moments to appreciate the beauty of the plants. Maybe you really took a few moments to think through a situation before you responded, and it helped you remain calm and in control. Whatever it is, write it down. This allows you to focus on the moments in which you are most mindful, and this allows you to focus on your overall mental health.

Gratitude Journals

A gratitude journal is something everyone should keep if they want to feel happier in everyday life. A gratitude journal is very personal, but it’s very effective. Most people spend the vast majority of their time focused on the things that go wrong in life. Perhaps you are frustrated because of traffic and you forget to enjoy the jokes your toddler is telling you from the backseat. Maybe you are so focused on how mean someone was to you earlier you don’t recognize how kind another stranger was.

Each day, write down two or three things that you’re thankful for. Some days this will be a stretch, but remember it’s not always the big things you have to be grateful for. Sometimes it’s nothing more than just the way someone smells when you walk by them at work each morning. If that makes you happy, let it make you happy. Spending intentional time focusing on what makes you grateful takes the power away from the things that make you less than grateful.

Private Journals A private journal is just that. It’s private, and it’s your thoughts alone. There is no right or wrong thing to keep in this journal. All you should do is spend time each day writing in it. It can be lyrics you love from a song you heard. It can be a poem that touched you. It can be a rant about something someone did that really upset you or something amazing you felt happened today. Whatever you want to write about, you get to write about.

Your mental health is yours. There is no right or wrong way to feel, but you do know you can change the way you think and feel by focusing on the good things in life and getting to know yourself. You cannot control what happens in life, but you’re always capable of controlling your reaction to the things that happen to you in life. It’s your power, and no one can take that from you.

Journaling can change your overall view of how you look at your life, and the lives of others.

Even though we focused on starting a journal for mental health today, you can do whatever kind of journaling makes you feel better. There is no right or wrong, no rules of how and when, or where you should journal. Some people like to empty their mind in the evening time while journaling. I do have another post about that. You can read about it here. Some people like to journal while everyone is asleep, with your choice of coffee, tea, caffienated or not!

You can get this very cute self care planner from my printables hub for free!

Just sign up below!

If you need journal pages, please make sure to check my free printables hub. You can sign up for it below, and then check your email for the password, and either use the link, or go directly to my printables hub

Let me know how you like to journal, and what kind of journaling prompts you might want to see in the future, as I’m working on a list of journaling prompts.