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Journaling's Power
Resources: Self-care, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Youth Talk
Journaling can be a powerful tool for self-care and mental health support. Baylee shares the positive impact it has had in her life.
Journaling's Power

Welcome to our Youth Talk Blog, a section dedicated to youth lived-experiences with mental health and wellbeing, with weekly blog posts from diverse young people’s perspectives. This is a positive, fun and resourceful space, showcasing young people thriving and connecting with healthful activities, resources and support. This post has been written by Baylee, our Community Education intern, who is a 23-year-old psychology student.

Emotions and feelings are always changing and evolving. Depending on the scenario, I either have too much or too little emotion. For myself, this is a big obstacle in my relationships; I get frustrated and feel embarrassed. Most of the time, I attempt to suppress any emotions or feelings.

Do you get all worked up in your head? Have you ever heard anything like that before?

I find myself becoming engrossed in my own ideas, which tend to impair my judgement. I try to avoid feeling my emotions and feelings since I do it on a daily basis, but my mind is visualising the scene, and I begin to overthink. I have a battle with myself to keep my emotions in check and prevent them from taking over my life. Rather than suppressing my emotions, I need to find a way to express them.

I've discovered a way, a way that has permanently improved my life. 

One self-help book transformed my entire outlook on myself. Meera Lee Patel's book, Start Where You Are Now, showed me how to utilise my imagination to my advantage. By taking the time to get to know ourselves and what we want, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our goals and aspirations with only a simple reminder. 

Journaling is still a work in progress for me. I've begun journaling in order to break free from my constraints. Because of how I'm feeling in my thoughts, my inner critic is passing judgement on myself. I'm learning to express my feelings and emotions, no matter how large or tiny, "immature" or "silly" they appear to be. Because my emotions are such an essential part of who I am, it is critical that we recognise and embrace our feelings. All emotions function as messengers, attempting to convey information to us. As a result, regardless of whether they are "good" or "bad," it is critical to acknowledge them compassionately and create room for them.

One of my current journaling topics is reacting to and commenting on my inner child's experiences. This enables me to comprehend and connect with my inner child's sentiments, by finding happiness and pleasure, from the smallest things.  

One aim I've set for myself in my journal is to express more happy sentiments. In certain cases, the feeling that leads to a negative judgement is actually a pleasurable experience. For example, I recently tried a new variety of bread for my daily avocado toast, despite the fact that I NEVER switch bread brands and have always favoured Vogel's. I was so impressed with the change that I now buy the new bread variety. I was overflowing with self-confidence and joy. I was able to recognise my feelings and emotions as a result of the few good changes I had made.

Some days I'm overwhelmed, sad, embarrassed, and self-conscious about my appearance. So, instead of voicing negative thoughts and judgments, I go to my journal and write down how I felt at the time. It felt great to be in charge of my happiness, and it provided me the strength to confront my feelings without feeling pressured to do so.

If you're in a similar situation, try writing things down on a daily basis. Though it can be difficult and frustrating at times, having a secure place to express myself has increased my confidence in my ability to discover myself.

Further reading and resources:

Start where you are now - info

Start where you are now - review - more about journaling  - more about journaling - articles and resources for mental health and wellbeing support for young people