Journaling Through Times of Despair

At the time of this writing the world is in various stages of social isolation (physical distancing) over the COVID-19 scare. It’s a good time to start journaling, if you don’t already. Or it’s a good time to journal about how you’re feeling, how you’re dealing with it, etc.

But also, when these times blow over, there will still be times of despair in your life; job loss, loss of friends and family, health issues—the list is endless. I’ve personally written a lot of journals full of what I call “inner garbage.” I write out all of my bad feelings, angry moods, etc. I do end up throwing those away after they are full or a period time. Sometimes I just tear or cut the pages out and trash them. For one thing, I don’t want people finding them if I die or something, and for another thing it feels good to “throw the garbage out.” I’m often over that stuff and no need to rehash it later on.

So what’s the main benefit of writing in a journal during the lousy moments in life?

They Help with Mental Health

Journaling is often recommended for people with a lot of stress, or who struggle with anxiety and depression. It really helps with your mental health, providing a safe space to release all those thoughts and feelings.

Some people have even discovered the triggers for their panic attacks or depressive episodes.

Get the funk out!

It can help you work out the sadness you’re experiencing.

Write down exactly what’s bothering you. Since you’re writing to yourself and no one else will read it, there is no judgement. You can scream onto the page, write out your bad moods, what you’re afraid of.

Journaling your despair and feelings is definitely a good way to help deal with all those emotions, but don’t forget to try and journal about solutions, ways you can motivate yourself, ways you can work through times of despair.

Also use journaling in these ways:

  • As a tool to motivate yourself.
  • As a way to change your thinking habits.

You can start a journal with just a piece of paper and a pen. You can buy spiral notebooks that have a cover design you like. You can buy expensive moleskin journals. Or, you can purchase many online in pdf format, print the pages yourself and put them in a 3-ring binder. I like using a 3-ring binder because it’s so easy to remove pages or add more.

The bottom line is, you can journal about anything and everything. You can work through the good stuff and the bad stuff. Journaling is often better than talking to someone about your problems. It gives you a chance to get completely honest with yourself and to dig deep. Sometimes we need to know those things before we try talking it out with someone. And sometimes, talking it out with ourselves in a journal helps us find solutions and we have no need to unload our junk on a friend.

All the best,
Patti


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