Journaling is the act of keeping track of your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and intentions by writing them down. Whether you’re writing on a device or notebook, journaling can help you acknowledge and better understand these thoughts and feelings. And if you have mental health challenges such as anxiety, journaling can really help!
As a teen, you’re often flooded with very intense waves of conflicting emotions, thoughts, and longings. Some of these things may be new to you. But journaling can help you grasp a deeper sense of sense and appreciate things as they come. In fact, journaling has become an integral part of the self-care movement.
Here are critical ways journaling can help during teenage years.
Journaling can help reduce anxiety and stress by serving as an escape from negative thoughts and feelings as you replace them with positive ones. Something as seemingly trivial as “I see the sun rising and filtering through my window in all its brilliance” can fill your mind with so much positivity, and you feel the tension, all of the anxiety, ebbing away.
When you feel stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what’s causing the stress. And once you’ve identified those triggers, you can then devise a plan to resolve the issue.
It’s like a way of tracking everything happening within you up to that very moment you realise, “Grrr, I feel like my head’s gonna blow up!” So you’ll likely discover what led to that very feeling. Is the fear or worry reasonably warranted? Or is it better to channel your energy to something more worthwhile?
Sometimes you don’t even know exactly how you feel. Is it anger, disgust, or frustration? These emotions can sometimes be hard to distinguish immediately. But writing them down can bring clarity and help you recover from them.
Journaling can help you acknowledge what you feel rather than shy away from it. This is incredibly important to recovery since acknowledgement is the first step to true healing.
But studies also show that this goes beyond psychological healing into the physical one as well. One study on 49 participants shows that those who wrote for 20 minutes about their feelings on distressing experiences physically healed faster than those who wrote about neutral daily activities.
Gratitude is a constant state of thankfulness or gratefulness. Whatever you’re faced with, you remain in an undying state of cheer and positivity. Gratitude is strongly and consistently linked with happiness, and one way to attain this state is through journaling.
Just as dwelling on negative emotions can lead to depression, your mindset shifts towards positivity the more you dwell/write on positive thoughts.
Self-awareness involves being aware of certain core aspects of self, such as feelings, actions, behaviours, strengths, and weaknesses.
And writing can help you acknowledge those emotions, the reason behind them, and why you do the things you do. In short, the simple act of putting personal experiences into words can help you better understand and form new perceptions about them.
Writing is an organisational system. According to James W. Pennebaker, a social psychologist, keeping a journal can help you organise events in your mind and make sense of trauma.
Journaling boosts memory capacity, thus reducing the risks of cognitive problems. That’s because writing down those personal experiences frees your brain from the incredibly taxing job of processing them to make sense of what happened. In short, writing brings so much clarity.
As a teen, have you found yourself brooding for no just cause? You probably have. And you’re not alone. The wild stream of conflicting emotions in teenage years is enough to weigh the mind down. But journaling can serve as a release, help you make sense of it all, and improve your mood.
Even when it’s hard to explain scientifically, it just works.
If you feel like you need a neutral adult to listen and coach you through some teenage challenges or struggles, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a FREE consultation with our Teen Coach.