*Guest Post from Author Mari McCarthy*
Too often, we think about our health in terms of separate categories: physical health, emotional health, and mental health. But our health is holistic and interconnected. When you take care of your mind, you also take care of your body – and vice versa. Journaling is a simple but powerful way to tune into your whole health – from head to toe, inside and out. It helps you get in touch with what you are thinking and feeling. By putting pen to paper, you can learn more about your inner world and how it affects your health overall. Journaling is particularly helpful if you struggle with stress, anxiety, or depression. It empowers you to identify stressors, manage emotions, and work through complex challenges.
Give yourself a healthy medium for expression. Adopt these journaling power practices for improved mental health.
Write Every Day
A daily journaling habit is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or intimidating. Simply pick a time every day where you will write for a few minutes – for example, first thing in the morning or right before you go to sleep. Put your journal and a pen somewhere visible, and make it easy to keep up the habit. Set a small, manageable goal at first, like: Write one thing I’m grateful for each night or Write a one-minute summary of how you’re feeling.
Do a Mind and Body Scan
The body scan is a common meditation exercise, where you inwardly survey each part of your body, seeing how each one feels at the moment. Adapt this practice slightly to examine both your physical and mental state. Sit quietly, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Starting at the top of your head, scan down your body, asking yourself the following questions:
- What feels good? Why?
- What feels painful, uncomfortable or tense? Why?
- Does any physical discomfort relate to stress, worry or other mental health obstacles?
- What is the root cause of these feelings?
Write about your observations in your journal, noting any patterns you uncover.
What’s Going On?
When something is bothering you, pick up your journal to explore it further. Ask: what’s going on here? Write as much as you can without stopping. Then pause and ask again: what’s going on here? Keep this up until you feel you’ve gotten to the heart of the problem.
About the Author
Mari L. McCarthy is the Self-Transformation Guide and Founder/Chief Inspiration Officer of CreateWriteNow.com. She is also author of the international-bestselling, award-winning book Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live.
Mari began journaling to relieve the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) over 20 years ago. Through journaling, Mari was able to ditch her prescription drugs and mitigate most of her MS symptoms. Now she teaches people throughout the world how to heal, grow, and transform their lives through the holistic power of therapeutic journaling.
She lives in a gorgeous beachfront home in Boston, where she has the freedom, flexibility, and physical ability to indulge in all her passions, which include singing and recording her own albums.
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