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Is it time to start a Journal?

Time to start Journaling?

Life is happening every second and it’s fast. We are so busy and overwhelmed we don’t take the time to stop and notice what’s happening at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our lives or learn the patterns of our minds. Then all of a sudden it’s the future, and you have no idea how you arrived there Journaling may just be the answer for you.

I came to journaling a few years ago when I hit 40 and an underactive thyroid! I’d never been physically ill before and it was scary especially being self-employed.

The NHS had a standard treatment protocol, which I followed until they got my blood levels right and then I was sent on my way. Still feeling very unwell, I had chronic fatigue was overweight, ached and was miserable.

I started journaling initially to try to unpick everything I was feeling, it allowed me to get to know myself. I began to see what I was doing right to give me the good days and what was impacting my bad days.

I then took control of what I was experiencing and worked out how to get to where I wanted to be which took about a year but I’ve completely changed my lifestyle and probably feel better than I did before!

I don’t think journaling and my road to getting better is a coincidence. The moment I started journaling I was taking control and responsibility for me and my health. Instead of looking for others to fix me and just be a passive part of the system my mindset shifted to what do I need to do. I began to look inwards and give myself time to reflect rather than just being in fix-it mode.

I began to really understand my symptoms and could say this is what I need now. I also became more compassionate towards what I was experiencing and I shared some of it with others around me. This was important for me because no one could see any of my symptoms and being overweight and tired symptoms that don’t get much compassion and are seen negatively, knowing more about my experiences helped others understand what I was going through more and I really wanted to be heard feeling like crap on the inside and everyone thinking your find can be really frustrating.

How can Journaling work for you?

Journaling is an act of self-care for your mind it provides the time and structure to slows down and allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a wrong turn.

It helps to process emotional experiences and helps you notice what’s going well and appreciate the good things in your life that you can sometimes miss when you are busy and on autopilot.

Maybe you been considering making some changes in your life, wondering about where you are and what you are doing, if you are on the right path? Are you struggling with anxiety, worry or low mood and want to understand you more?

Or maybe you just want to function at your very best and know that this involves spending time on your mind as well as your body.

You might have been considering therapy but you are not sure or want to start the process with a bit more understanding of what you want help with.

Journaling is the likely answer to these questions and challenges as your mind is full of hidden gems and given the time and space you can uncover them.

Journaling is very on trend now and that’s for a very good reason it works, Journaling is hugely beneficial for our whole wellbeing when our minds are better we function better and feel better.

The benefits of Journaling

The act of writing things down has many benefits for our psychological well-being

Reduced stress level

Reduced anxiety

Less worry

An Incredible tool for reflection

Supports the processing of difficult events and emotions

Increases clarity and focus.

A deeper understanding of own needs for improved self-care

Improved self-awareness

Increases creativity

Understand the patterns of your mind

Greater ability for achievement and goal attainment

Improved emotional regulation

Improved mood

Calmer and clearer mind

Can’t I just think things through you may ask? Well, you can, absolutely but we know that if you just think something and don’t write it down, you’re only engaging the left-hand side of the brain, which is the part that deals with reasoning and logic. When you write it down you also engage the right-hand side of the brain, which is more creative, intuitive and sees things as a whole.

Therefore when we journal we engage whole-brain activity to bring together all the aspects of our brain ensuring that we are thinking things through in the most optimal way, allowing us to see things differently and feel more confident about the steps we need to take to achieve the desired change.

I Can’t actually think of a reason to not start a journal?

If you are interested in all things Modern Mental Health you can sign up for my monthly blog and email and you will receive ‘The Mini CBT Journal’ introduction e-book with your first email.

I love hearing how you have got on so do let me know how you have found journaling – Email me


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Sarah Rees

Sarah is a fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and mental health writer delivering Modern Mental Health for you and with you in Mind. Sarah is the author of ‘The CBT Journal’ which helps you write for your wellbeing incorporating CBT techniques. For more information and to keep in touch have a look at