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The Power of Journaling for Our Mental Health

One of the hallmarks of childhood and adolescence is keeping a diary. You might not have

felt comfortable or safe telling people in your life what was going on, so you turned to expressing

your emotions in a written and private manner. You knew that your diary was somewhere you

could confess your darkest secrets while evading judgement. Most of us part ways with our

diaries once we reach adulthood, not realizing the very real benefits they could still have.

Journaling simply refers to writing your thoughts and emotions down in order to process and

understand them more clearly. This can be done informally by just writing whatever you feel, or

in a more structured way by using prompts. Using a journal can help you track your thoughts,

emotions, and symptoms, allowing you to make connections between how you feel and your


Journaling can be effective in:

• Reducing stress and anxiety

• Coping with negative emotions

• Analyzing thought patterns

So how do you journal?

Be consistent: The most important part about journaling is consistency. Try to set aside a

couple minutes everyday to write about your day and how you feel. You want to make

journaling a habit.

Don’t worry about content: Write about whatever you want to. You don’t need to follow

prompts or have goals every time you journal. Let your thoughts flow freely and write in

an authentic, personal way. Remember—your journal is yours, so you don’t have to worry

about outside judgment.

Make connections: Once you have a few entries written, read over them. See if you can

make any connections between symptoms and triggers. Look for patterns in both

thoughts and feelings.

Using a journal is a great way to organize your thoughts and emotions when you are feeling

overwhelmed. It is also a great tool for analyzing and understanding our mental health and

triggers. By setting aside time everyday to journal, you can improve your day-to-day mood.

(This article was contributed by UCF Clinical Psychology student, Mileydy Morales)

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