Unlock the Power of Journaling: A Cheat Sheet for Improving Well-being

What is Journaling for well-being?

Journaling for well-being is the act of writing down your thoughts, feelings and experiences. It’s documenting your hopes, dreams, worries or wins. It’s taking the time to get your inner world down on paper. Journaling for well-being is a powerful tool that can help improve mental health and overall well-being. It’s a simple and easy way to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings, track progress, and gain insight into yourself and your life. Journaling can help you explore your emotions, work through difficult situations, and set and achieve personal goals. It’s also a great way to reflect on your day, practice gratitude, and explore your creative side. Whether you’re new to journaling or have been doing it for a while, this cheat sheet will provide you with some tips and prompts to help you get the most out of your journaling practice. It’s also something that has helped many of my clients and me.

>>> Read A Beginner’s Guide to Journaling

>>> Read Is it Time to Start a Journal?

What are the Benefits?

Regular journaling is an act of self-care. The Social Psychologist Dr James Pennbaker has been measuring the outcomes of expressive writing since the 1980s. Through his research, he has discovered those who practice this technique may experience:

– Stronger immune health

– Better sleep habits

– Improved mental health

– Regulated blood pressure

– Reduction in pain caused by chronic diseases

Just like talking, writing things down, getting them out of your head and down on paper, can be both freeing and healing. Venting in this way helps you make sense of things. Thoughts lose their power when we release them, so the intensity of difficult emotions is often reduced. Ultimately, writing helps us create clarity and become more objective about what’s going on inside our heads.

>>> Read The Benefits of Journaling

Journaling & Therapy

Holding things in or keeping secrets creates stress in your body that impacts your mental well-being and physical health. Therapy allows you to release these thoughts and feelings, but if you’re not ready to talk, journaling can be a good first step.

Once you are ready, journaling is a great way to supercharge your treatment and achieve the best results. It’s well known that people who actively engage in therapy between sessions get far more out of the experience than those who don’t. This often results in improved recovery rates and fewer sessions required overall. Keeping a dedicated therapy journal ensures the therapy process is ongoing. It’s not just an hour a week; therapy is happening every time you put pen to paper.

>>> Read What’s the Link Between Journaling and CBT?

>>> Read What is a Therapy Journal and How Can It Help?

Getting Started {and Sticking with It}

People often tell me they don’t know what to write, but once they start, they find they can write a lot. It’s getting started that can be the problem. Knowing why you want to journal can help you find the motivation to start. It could be to reach a goal, to carve out some time for self-care, to understand your mind, gain clarity or work through a difficult emotion.

Once you know ‘why’, plan when you will start. Will you journal in the morning or evening? When do you have some spare time? I’d also recommend setting a date to review how you’re doing. Are you seeing some benefits? If not, you can switch things up, decide journaling is not for you or focus more on what you’re finding helpful.

>>> Listen to The Resilience Series – Starting a Journal

>>> Read How to Create a Journaling Habit

>>> Read Why You Don’t Want to Journal and What to Do About It

>>> Read How to Get the Most Out of Your Journal

Different Approaches

There’s more than one way to journal. Some people find it easy to write pages and pages; others need prompts to guide them. Some people crave structure; others like to see where their mind takes them. Some people want to reflect and work through their thoughts, while others want to focus on gratitude alone.

If you’ve struggled to journal in the past, it might be worth trying a slightly different approach. Even if you already have a solid practice, going through a difficult time or experiencing a crisis could mean you need to use your journal in a slightly different way.

>>> Read What is a Gratitude Journal and What are the Benefits?

>>> Read Bullet Journaling for Mental Health

>>> Read How to Use Your Journal During a Crisis

Save 50% on The CBT Journal with Code SAVE50

A few years ago, adding a regular journaling practice to my self-care routine helped me work through some difficult feelings. Because of this, I went on to create the CBT Journal. It’s designed to help anyone who is new to learning about cognitive behavioural therapy and keen to understand their mind more. Maybe you’re currently experiencing mental health problems or have struggled in the past. Perhaps you’re simply curious about your current patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing.

The Journal takes the form of a digital download and is divided into two sections. First, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the principles of CBT and learn how to apply them to your journaling for well-being practice. Structured journaling sheets bring your awareness to the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that shape your daily life. There’s also space for daily gratitude to provide balance and build emotional resilience. Additional worksheets are provided to help you alter unhelpful thinking patterns, process emotions and change behaviours.

>>> Read What is The CBT Journal and How Can it Improve Your Metal Health?

>>> Save 50% on The CBT Journal with code SAVE50

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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 sarahdrees.co.uk.