Dear Diary,

If disclosing your inner most fears, thoughts and dreams onto the interweb fills you with dread or you aren't technically adept enough to create a blog, you can still keep it 'old-school' by writing a diary.

Yours sincerely,

Me.

HOW CAN KEEPING A DIARY HELP?

It might sound a bit old-fashioned in these days of blogs, vlogs and social media, but keeping a diary or journal can be the perfect way of documenting your life that isn't confined by characters or the dreaded 'Like' button. It can also help your mental health. Really? Yes it can! 

We think nothing of sharing every detail of our lives with the world nowadays. It's one thing to tell everyone what you're having for dinner or where you're going on holiday, but quite another tell them how you're really feeling.

If you need to talk, but there's no-one around, then let the pen be your voice and the page be your mate. Let's take a look at how and why writing a diary can help.

Reduces Stress

If you write about the tough times you're going through or when you're feeling unwell, the words can help lessen the impact. It reduces the intensity of those feelings when you can see it in black and white (or whatever colour pen you use). If in doubt, give it a try. 

Clarification

Mental illness can seem like a messed up jumble of thoughts and feelings. I know mine does. Your mind is racing, your thoughts are a blur when all you really want is a little mental 'time out'. Writing a diary can give you that.

Taking a few minutes to jot down what you're thinking, without fear of being judged, can make the world of difference to how you feel.

Getting To Know You

Getting into a habit of writing a diary can take a little time. You start by not knowing what to write, but before long, you're away.

The routine of writing begins to show you what makes you happy, what makes you sad, what makes you angry and what makes you tick. You might think you know that already, but it will add a sense of clarify to your thoughts and give you emotional information about yourself.

Perspective

Mental illness doesn't just affect you, it can impact on your friends and family. If you struggle to explain how you feel, a diary can act as a fantastic tool to share how you feel and how it affects you.

It can also help to give you a perspective on their point of view as you document your day, it will become clear how any situation may appear from where they're standing.

Life Logging

As hard as it might be to start writing a diary, especially if you're having a tough time, before long it will become second nature. Remember, don't just write about the times when you're not feeling great, write about the days you feel good too. You'll be able to use all that information from the past in the future. It will become a document of your life. The good, the bad, the time you got drunk and got ate that entire bowl of custard and sardines.

As you go on your road to recovery, you'll remember everything that got you there. You may even be able to pass it on to someone you know, so they can share your secrets to success.

Give it a try and let us know how you get on!

(You can leave out the custard and sardine story, we've all been there!)