The Power of Journaling – Protecting Your Mental Health in 2022
Journaling provides us with an opportunity to identify negative thoughts and behaviors and allows us to assess the gravity of what we’re thinking and feeling. By Sophie Jarvis I February 9, 2022
Without a doubt, most of us have picked up a pen at some point in our lives to jot down what’s going on inside our heads. Whether this was in a journal that you kept under lock and key, or simply a notebook that existed as a dumping ground for to-do lists and ideas, putting pen to paper has long since been a way for humans to make sense of what they’re thinking.
This exercise, although simple, is a powerful tool that we can add to our self-care repertoire. Journaling helps us to keep track of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions so that we can better understand ourselves. It can help us to make sense of our desires, worries, and wants, as well as help us to work through any mental blockades. Transferring our thoughts from our head to paper gives clarity to any issues we’re facing, helping us to find a solution more easily.
Journaling provides us with an opportunity to identify negative thoughts and behaviors and allows us to assess the gravity of what we’re thinking and feeling. It offers a perspective that isn’t possible when our thoughts remain only in our heads. Often, we can find that writing something down reveals its triviality. Through the process of putting a problem on paper, we may realize that it’s not as grave as we thought, leading us to process and resolve the issue.
Alternatively, putting thoughts into journaling can reveal their significance. This is especially true if we find ourselves returning to the same negative or troubling thoughts over and over again. For example, if we find that we feel low after spending time with a certain person, we may begin to draw a parallel between the time spent together and our subsequent emotions. This can reveal to us the toxicity of that particular relationship, as we come to realize the cause of our negative feelings, and can then act accordingly.
Often, we don’t immediately realize the connection between someone else’s actions and our own emotions. This is especially the case if someone else is causing us to feel a certain way. Behavior such as gaslighting, manipulation, and passive aggression can pass unnoticed – especially in the workplace. Workplace bullying can slowly whittle away our sense of self-worth, leaving us feeling fragile, upset, and low in confidence. Journaling our days, including our interactions and emotions, can shine a light on the connection between others’ behavior and our own feelings.
Unfortunately, carrying a notebook around to document our days isn’t always practical. Luckily, modern technology has allowed us to carry a smaller equivalent around with us at almost all times. Writing down your thoughts and feelings on your phone is an alternative to journaling with pen and paper. Another option is our application, Trael. Trael is a helpful and easy-to-use platform for tracking our emotions and documenting unwanted behavior such as incidences of sexual harassment, discrimination, or racism in the workplace. This record can then be turned into a report, that can be presented to mental health professionals, HR departments, law enforcement, and others, at your discretion. Having such a tool at hand is invaluable in taking productive measures to protect our mental health in 2022.