Featured Story: “Journaling in Relation to Mental Health”

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Featured Story: “Journaling in Relation to Mental Health”

Emily Leeds, Staff Writer

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Its 10:17 p.m. in Boston, Massachusetts, thoughts are flying through the mind of Aurelie Marl and tension fills the air. Aurelie is laying in bed, paralyzed with new feelings, staring at the ceiling of apartment 113.

She awaits the morning, in which she will arrive at her new workplace for the first time. She is pursuing a career in film and begins working on a film set in countdown eleven hours.

This is her first time working in the field shes been salivating over for years, but she is nervous she won’t be taken seriously because of her lack of experience. She has worked day and night for five years trying to get this position.

This is why she worries, she fears she won’t wear the right clothes or say the right things. Would a yellow blouse be too unprofessional, a black one too boring?

Rather than laying in bed wasting time, Aurelie decides to pull out her journal, she knows in theory she should  do that more. She writes until she feels like everything once bottled up is sitting in front of her on paper.

 

By the time she is done, its 11:01 p.m. and she feels excited for the first time in a whole week. Letting out the things she is nervous about helped her see that there are also things to look forward to, after all, this is her dream job.

Aurelie is constantly writing, but she writes scripts, rather than personal entries. She realizes she should prioritize journaling into her schedule because of the weight she feels lifted off her shoulders every time she picks up a pen and talks about her day.

Journaling is often associated with teenage girls and “dear diary” entries everynight before bed. While this can be true, many adults use journaling to improve their quality of life.

The past, present and future are undeniably valuable to everyone. Journaling can help people connect with each of these.

Common reasons for  journaling regularly in relation to mental health include; achieving set goals, relieving anxiety, having a connection to your past self, and growing closer to your present self.

Statistically, writing down hopes and dreams will help in making them reality. This is because taking time out to write goals down means they are in the forefront of your mind.

If goals aren’t known they won’t be completed, of course. Writing them down makes for actively thinking about what needs to get done, therefore the amount of goals completed can skyrocket.

But of course, it cannot be expected to pick up a pen, write about goals of becoming a millionaire and only to wake up the next day with a million dollars next to your pillow. There has to be a portion of self motivation to get you there!

Journaling is a major stress reliever, with a variety of journaling styles such as bullet journaling, planner journaling, and gratitude journaling.

One of the great things about journaling is that there is no strict formula on how to do it, its a creative outlet and anyone can start.

There are things that are recommended to make journaling easy and as beneficial as possible. It is often suggested to write without worry of grammar or spelling, to let everything passing through your mind come out on paper as is.

When stopping to fix errors, it becomes easy to lose train of thought. Think of it as a stream of consciousness.

 

Hailee Rose, 15 years old, says “Journaling for mental health purposes helps calm my anxiety when its acting up badly. I keep one journal only to wrap up my thoughts and keep them in one organized place and I write in it with colorful pens to help ease myself”.

 

Similarly to Miss Rose, Rocio Vargas, 17 years old, remarked,

“I always try to find time to write because expressing my feeling helps my mental health tremendously. I believe it’s a good habit”.

Journaling is different for everybody. It is easy to get bored with writing when there is a strict formula to fill, but with expressive writing it is up to the writer to make their own rules, which makes it more of a creativity melting pot.

Victoria Cosenza, now 25 years old, has been journaling since her teen years and used writing as an outlet to express herself when she felt she had no one else. She can now look back on those times, good and bad, and realize her immense growth as a person.

 

As said by Mrs. Cosenza, “Writing for me has been very cathartic, as a teen I felt very isolated and journaling all of my

thoughts and aspirations helped ease my depression. I have carried my love of words and writing into adulthood, I journal and keep creative planners to help me stay balanced and productive”.

 

Looking back on trials and tribulations is one of the most amazing things about journaling. It can be hard be aware of oneself’s personality. Reading things written from a first person point of view helps people get a sense of their own voice and character.

It is like narrating a book about personal life, that you can share with others or keep to only one set of eyes.

For some, like Allison Valle, this genre of writing can make for an overwhelmed state of mind. She says

 

“I wish I was able to journal to get my thoughts out, but sometimes writing makes me feel worse than I did originally because it makes me think about everything and anything. Some people can organize their thoughts that way, but it makes me get in my head too much”.

With expressive writing comes opening inner thoughts, this can be scary for people who tend to avoid thinking about how they feel on their own, others may want to speak aloud to someone else to relieve stress.

The thing about journaling is, there doesn’t have to be an audience or sole purpose to please others. The audience can be the author and only the author, there is no worry of what others will think.

This takes the stress out of writing and allows a person to be wholly themselves. Journaling is a form of self love.

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Featured Story: “Journaling in Relation to Mental Health”