Journaling Is The Emotional Detox You Need To Improve Your Mental Health

No matter what you’re struggling with, journaling can help

Lea O


Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

But first, let go of the lies you believe about journaling.

Dear Diary,

Today I ate two chocolate muffins and walked around the neighborhood. Johnny says he might come over and watch a movie this weekend.

I used to think of journaling like this. What on Earth would I write in there every freaking day?

If that’s the image you have of journaling, it’s wrong. It’s not a slumber-party habit, unique only to teenage girls or reserved for lonely, terroristic Unabomber manifestos.

When you picture a journaling practice between those two extremes, you won’t take it seriously enough to see any benefits. Instead, you’ll be inconsistent with the steps it takes to build a habit and ultimately fail at doing anything different than you’re doing right now.

Therefore, repeating the core beliefs that keep you stuck.

I know you don’t want that, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Experience is the only way to change those core beliefs.

On my desk now is a photo of me beside a plastic, white, blue, and yellow flip-top desk. I was six that Christmas and dreamed of writing stories from the corner of my wood-paneled, 1990s-mauve-colored bedroom.

Now, that sounds like an endearing little story about a girl who always knew she wanted to become a writer and then did.

But — it took 27 years before I actually believed I could write. The world told me it was a stupid pursuit. I failed a bunch of times, and I learned I never could, would, or should become a writer.

Here’s a photo of that little desk from eBay

And then I did become a professional writer anyway.