North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Journaling is the habit to help your mental health

Penelope Roewe

As many of us deal with the stress and burdens of school and life, it can be essential to acknowledge our feelings and try to understand why we feel a certain way. If you’re anything like me, you feel everything so deeply and so personally. Emotions can be hard to say aloud to another person at first. It can be hard to keep track of in your head and keeping it all in never feels good. But giving yourself an outlet where you won’t be judged gives you the freedom to express, admit, and process your feelings. Journaling– writing it all down– is the perfect way to release that built-up stress.

Numerous scientific studies have shown how journaling can help manage anxiety, reduce stress, cope with depression, and recover quicker from traumatic events. Not only can the practice reduce stressors, but it can also cultivate gratitude.

Building new habits can be difficult, but consistency is the key to becoming a regular journaler. Whether this means scribbling a couple of lines every night before bed or writing a few pages every Friday night, establishing a routine can increase your chances of building a habit. Although writing down journal entries in a notebook can be the most rewarding once you start to accumulate pages upon pages and books upon books full of your handwriting, it can also be something as simple as having a Google Doc or notes app that you type on.

When it comes to the content of your entries, it all depends on the kind of journaling you want to do. You can write about your day, what’s stressing you out, your dreams, or even the kind of music you’re listening to. I tend to write about all of it, just something to keep a record of how I’m feeling at the time. I like to look back at my old journal entries, and it’s interesting to see just how different (or eerily similar) my life was a year ago or even two years ago. It’s like a memento box but in a book. These entries you a physical summary of your growth over time. Whether you look back fondly at old memories or cringe at your old self, you’ll never regret writing it down.

I always know that after I journal, I always feel better, that’s what I love.

— Kristen Tang, Junior

Junior Kristen Tang is a frequent journaler. “I feel like writing helps you think about your next steps [in a problem] because I feel like when [something’s] always on your mind, you can never properly think out your next steps,” Tang said. “But journaling helps with that. And I always know that after I journal, I always feel better, that’s what I love.”

If you’re feeling hesitant to commit to journaling for whatever reason, just give it a try. Sit down for five minutes and just write about your day. It’s the best way to decompress after a long day. Try it for a week, and see how you feel.

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About the Contributor
Penelope Roewe, Managing Editor & Opinion Editor
Penelope is a junior and this is her third year on NSN, serving as Managing Editor and the Opinions and Photos editor. She loves to express her opinions through writing. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching Gilmore Girls, and reading books.

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