Mental Wellbeing

Why does journaling make me feel worse?

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First asked   Dec 29,
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Journaling may make you feel worse if you are focusing on negative thoughts, experiences, or emotions. You may also feel worse if you expect journaling to be a quick solution to your problems, since this is not really how journaling works.

Journaling, much like meditation, is a process. It takes time to actually feel the benefits, but when they come, they are very noticeable and can really bring a big change in your life.

While journaling can give you relatively quick benefits such as better understanding your thoughts and emotions and working through them, many times, this process will just take some time, and patience.

To better understand why journaling is not working for you, try to think about these things:

  • What are your expectations from journaling, and are they realistic? Remember, journaling most likely will not provide an immediate solution to your problems.
  • What are you focusing on when you are journaling? Do you mainly focus on negative things and cycle through them, or do you spend time on a specific thing and try to understand it in an attempt to grow from it?
  • Is the kind of journaling you are doing right for you? There are different forms of journaling, such as gratitude journaling, and reflective journaling. Try to find the one that works best for you.
  • Have you thought about professional help? Many people dismiss professional help out of embarrassment, or out of the fact that it is not very socially acceptable in many places. The truth is that everyone has problems in one way or another, and most people can seriously benefit from professional help.

Try to find the journaling method that is right for you and that works best for you, keep experimenting with it, and don't rule out seeking help.

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