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Mental Health Benefits of Journaling

We somehow have already made it through the first month of 2021. If the rest of the year goes as quickly as this month, I have a feeling 2021 is going to fly by. Maybe you created a few new year’s goals for 2021 or maybe this year you decided to not focus on any particular New Year’s resolutions. Whatever you decided, I hope you do not forget how important it is to give yourself grace whenever you are setting goals, especially since we never know what life is going to throw at us. Something I am focusing on this year is to process my thoughts and feelings on a more internal basis versus externally. One way I am trying to do this is by journaling more often. Journaling has been proven to benefit our mental health. It helps reduce stress, keeps memory sharp, can boost mood, and strengthen emotional functioning. Ultimately, journaling has the ability for individuals to take more control of their lives and can help shift perspectives from negative to positive.

If you are more of an external processor like me, journaling can sometimes be difficult because it easier for you to process by talking with another person. Since I understand the difficulties that journaling can be, I wanted to suggest a few journaling prompts that will help individuals process their emotions. Here are a few examples:

– Think back on your day. What emotions did you experience? Describe the different emotions you felt today.

– List 10 things that made you smile today and why they made you happy.

– List 3 things that made you feel anxious today and reasons why you think you felt anxious.

– Name one person who you are grateful for. Why are you grateful for them?

– What coping mechanisms did you practice today? Were they healthy?

– Write a letter to your future self.

– What is the best compliment you have ever received?

– What can you do to better your mental health?

There are so many different journaling prompts that focus on mental health. As we progress through 2021, I encourage you all to try and implement journaling into your lives, even if it is only for 5 minutes a day. As mentioned above, there are so many mental health benefits to journaling, so I hope some of these prompts are helpful for you all.

Other Sources:

Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.