|Jewish Junk Journal for Elul|
How Journaling Can Help with Mental Health Issues
Keeping any type of journal will help with improving your mental health issues. However, if you really want to tackle a specific problem you’re having, it will help to determine which type of journal to keep.
Keeping a particular kind of journal may work best for your issue. Jewish Junk Journaling combines words and pictures/art for a lovely way express yourself and to heal.
* Boosts Your Mood – If you really want to boost your mood, keeping a gratitude journal is a good idea. All you have to do is once a day, in the morning or evening or both, write down what you’re grateful for today. It might not seem like much, but it’s very powerful for thinking positively about your life.
* Increases Your Sense of Well-Being – As you write out your thoughts, you’ll start seeing issues from a new angle because you’re opening your mind to think about it. This is will contribute to a feeling of competence and being more capable of dealing with whatever happens in life.
* Lessens Symptoms of Depression – We know that depression is something different from sadness, and may require a counselor. Writing it all down can help you gain clarity and start to feel better. Plus, you can look back at days you thought life was "over" and see better days have happened and will happen again.
* Reduces Anxiety – The problem with anxiety is that it was designed to help us get away from immediate danger. It triggers the "fight or flight" response. When you have that anxious feeling you can choose to write your feelings in your journal, pray about them, and gain some control over your reactions to your feelings.
* Lowers Avoidance Behaviors – Many people who have mental health issues practice avoidance behaviors to minimize anxiety. Everybody does it to some extent. But when we write out our feelings it helps us see and understand ourselves better.
* You’ll Sleep Better – Pouring your heart out into a journal is a great way to get things off your chest. However, before bed, go to the gratitude journal and write down what you’re thankful for today and go to sleep thinking of that.
* Makes You a Kinder Person – Exploring your own emotional state and accepting your own feelings in your journal is going to make you naturally more empathetic to others, too. Letting go of judgment of self improves your thoughts for others also.
* Improves Your Memory – Writing helps you to explore and to remember things because you can go back and read what you've written, but also because the act of writing makes it all happen.
One thing that can really help your journaling work is to learn how to use it for prayer. That creates a habit, and you're safe because you can keep it private, unless you decide to let people see it or you decide to use it to help others. This is for you, and for sharing with God.
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