College of DuPage Nursing Student Sofie Langan shared that on the surface, bullet journaling appears to be a trend straight out of Pinterest. With a simple Google search, thousands of photos of pastel-colored tapes, rainbow highlighters, and pens designed especially for the thin paper of a journal, appear. Endless blog posts, books, and tutorial videos are available to teach bullet journaling. It almost feels intimidating to try. However, diving a little deeper into the topic can be truly eye-opening. Journaling is a beautiful and creative process that gives one’s imagination no limits. Everything can be designed, drawn, colored, and decorated, to meet the ideals of a creator. The benefit of this practice is the mindfulness and reflection it encourages. When done constructively, bullet journaling can be extremely effective in maintaining good mental health.
Stress Reduction – Journaling can decrease stress by providing an outlet to reflect and think. For example, many people feel stressed in a state of chaos or disorganization. A day-to-day spread, or journaling a to-do list, can help manage time and organize events. For those that struggle with stress affiliated with negative thoughts, gratitude or a prompt-based journal can promote positive thinking and general optimism. The truly amazing aspect of bullet journaling is that whatever is causing stress can be used as inspiration for creation. Everything can be specifically designed for the purposes of the individual and their personal growth goals.
Another aspect of stress reduction in bullet journaling is the time it takes to physically create the journal. Many people love to design themes, color patterns, and decorate the journal spread to their liking. Enjoying the process of creation is a great way to take time to think and decompress. The personalization of a bullet journal is fun and a beneficial form of self-expression, which also helps to reduce stress.
Depression and Anxiety – In Annika Stanley’s article titled “Various Journaling Behaviors Related to Self-Reported Mental Health Rating,” she explains that treatment plans for depression and anxiety commonly involve aspects of self-administered care, also called self-care. Bullet journaling is a great method of self-care, as it promotes reflection, organization, and productivity. Journaling counteracts behaviors of anxiety and depression by focusing on optimism and gratitude instead of focusing on negativity. As previously discussed, bullet journaling also encourages self-expression and creativity, which are great benefits for those with anxiety and depression.
Bullet journaling can be both exciting and intimidating because of the endless possibilities and creative freedom. This form of self-care has major benefits in stress reduction as well as maintaining good mental health. It has been successful for many in managing depression and anxiety, amongst other mental illnesses. The beauty of bullet journaling is that it is easy to try and can be completely personalized. Simply begin with a blank journal and a favorite pen, and allow trial and error to occur. Give it a try, it may be life-changing.
Stanley A. H. (2019). Various Journaling Behaviors Related to Self-Reported Mental Health Rating. Initial Forays into Psychosocial Science,15(1), 9-13. https://www.jbu.edu/assets/majors/psychology/resource/ifps/2019/2019_IFPS.pdf#page= 14