Journaling has been on the rise in recent years. From bullet journals to freeform diary entries to group journaling sessions, it’s been proven to improve mental health. As someone who co-founded a mental health app, it was something I knew I should be doing but could never get my head around.
Like many people, I couldn’t get past the sense of “blank page syndrome”. Just staring at the page and wondering, well what should I write? What am I supposed to be journaling about? Is it just a stream of consciousness? Is it a detailed account of what I did today? Honestly, wondering if I’m journaling “correctly” just seemed to add more stress to my life.
That was until my business partner, Jon Davies, introduced me to something called Structured Journaling during the development of our mental health web app, Leafyard. Structured Journaling uses prompts from CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It guides you to take a look at stressful situations, unpacks the negative beliefs behind them and forms positive beliefs to try out in the future.
Step by step, Structured Journaling takes you through the process. It allows you to logically see how your brain is working and how you can make small, habitual changes to improve it. It’s a gamechanger and it’s really helped me to see where I’m going wrong. So much so that it’s a cornerstone feature of Leafyard.
It’s one of the key tools that I can now say that I have in my mental health arsenal. Honestly, I feel much, much better for it.