With COVID, people are experiencing crazy emotions like never before and are looking for ways to manage them. Many people that have never tried journaling or haven’t journaled for years are taking it up. Stationary companies have noticed an uptick in the sales of journals. Mental health providers have always encouraged their clients to journal.
Journaling can help you:
- Manage anxiety
- Reduce stress
- Cope with depression
- Help track triggers
- Modify behaviors
- Provide entertainment
- Motivate you
There is no right or wrong way to journal and there are many types of journals to keep. The key to effective journaling is to do it often, preferably every day. CaseKeepers is a digital journaling application that supports a multitude of journaling types. You may create them on your desktop or laptop computer, tablet or mobile device. You may use voice to text to capture your thoughts and you can upload documents, photos and videos to support your entries. CaseKeepers supports tags so that each type of journal entry can be tagged and easily sorted or found again.
Let your thoughts flow freely. Write about whatever is on your mind. Once you get going, you might discover thoughts that you didn’t even know were on your mind. Sometimes just dumping all the crazy thoughts swirling around in your head in your journal helps you clear your mind, reduces anxiety and lifts depression. When we put the thoughts down, they somehow seem more manageable. and less overwhelming which reduces our anxiety. Stream-of-consciousness journaling is helpful to get the thoughts out, but it should be followed by positive self-talk. Use your journal to tell yourself all the things that a good friend might tell you. Sharing your journal entries with a therapist enables them to help retrain your brain and shift your viewpoint from beating yourself up, to building yourself up. Be your own best friend. Digital journaling using CaseKeepers allows you to share your journal entries with your therapist. Using tags, you can highlight or communicate entire thoughts with minimal writing. You might create an entry and tag it “Freaking out” while on-the-go using your phone. Later on your laptop, you can edit your entry and let your thoughts about the incident flow freely. If sharing with your therapist, they might respond immediately or they might review them with you while in session. Either way, it allows them to understand your triggers, thoughts and emotions between session enabling you to progress faster.
Experts generally agree that taking the time to be thankful for what we have in our lives is good for us. According to PositivePsychology.com, it increases our positivity, improves our self-esteem, helps us sleep better, reduces stress and makes us happier. Each day, create a journal entry and tag it “Gratitude.” Write one, two or ten things that you are thankful for that day. Look for quotes that motivate you to have a spirit of gratitude.
Behavior Modification/ Habit Tracking
It takes a lot of time and focus to change a behavior, get rid of a bad habit or add a good habit. CaseKeepers makes an excellent trigger and habit tracker. Suppose you want to lose weight and get in shape, create tags identifying the triggers that cause you to eat when you shouldn’t such as: boredom, TV, tired, anxious, sad, social outing. Create tags to track the habits that you are trying to develop such as: exercised, adequate sleep, no sugar, calories on target. Each day or even several times a day, use the tags to quickly capture and track your behaviors. In fact, CaseKeepers has popup surveys that will automatically capture behaviors such as sleep and exercise. Over time you will see the relationship between triggers and behaviors. Tracking helps you identify them and make changes in your lifestyle to limit triggers and help you maintain healthier habits.
Today’s trend in journaling includes combining many different types of journals into one creative outlet. This might include a habit tracker, some statements of gratitude, some motivational quotes and a little art. They can become a combination journal, tracker and planner all in one.
Some of my favorite Facebook posts, come from a woman named Cindy. Every day she draws a whimsical picture usually of herself and her cat. She tracks her food, her water intake and she adds motivational quotes. Her posts (like a journal entry) are so motivating to me and I am sure they help her stay on track and focused on her journey as opposed to her end goal. Combining journaling techniques like she has done with art is fantastic.
Try journaling. Try different styles. Do it on a regular basis. Over time watch as you become a better you.
If digital journaling interests you, try CaseKeepers.com for free.