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Journaling can make you happier? | Your Best Life

In this week's "Your Best Life" 6 News Anchor Leslie Draffin explains how you can boost your mood with something as simple as a pen and paper!

KILLEEN, Texas — Many of us kept diaries as a child. They were places to put down our thoughts and feelings. Now, most adults have traded those diaries for journals, but it’s still the same thing.

Licensed Professional Counselor Crystal Morris journals regularly and encourages her clients to do the same. 

"Journaling can benefit anyone that's open to it. Of course, it helps promote mental health, wellness, not just you know for someone that is struggling with something but just to be able to facilitate and express and process your emotions, process change and things like that,” Morris explained.

A 2005 Cambridge University study showed journaling provides long-term improvements in mood, stress levels, and depressive symptoms.

According to Morris, "Journaling is beneficial because it promotes growth. It promotes healing for those that need to heal and change personally, psychologically, and emotionally."

Morris owns Butterflies Prospering Wellness in Killeen where they offer massage, meditation, and counseling services. She also wrote a book with dozens of journaling prompts that she often uses with her clients.

"So I think journaling is about releasing how we feel, our emotions and so I like setting the tone. You know, not just the atmosphere, but being intentional about, 'Okay what am I doing, what kind of healthy routine am I setting up for myself.'"

To get started, Morris said to have a positive mindset. Then, set the mood. 

"Maybe you want to light a candle. You want to use aromatherapy oil, you know. These are different things that I would use as well. In my journaling practice, I have to set the atmosphere (and) the mood, " Moris said. "So I put on some positive meditation music or if it's worship music, something that will uplift my mood and help me to focus on writing. Then I set an intention, you know, am I writing for five or 10 minutes. Do I have 15 minutes and making sure it's a quiet space that I can write freewriting is away."

Morris said to make sure you're in a private place and have enough time so you don't feel rushed. Then, understand there's no right way to journal and there are many different styles to choose from.

"I use awareness journaling with a client about awareness of their emotion and we go through the steps and they're able to process and deal with that. There's dream journaling. Different journaling for bipolar depression, anxiety. Positive journaling and gratitude journaling, those are things that promote and build happiness. We journal after a meditation experience. What physical sensations did you feel? What were your thoughts?"

No matter what type you choose, Morris said journaling will help you be more mindful, can boost emotional intelligence, and promote healing from trauma.

Butterflies Prospering Wellness is hosting a free event Saturday, Feb. 1 at the location in Killeen. It’s a positive day of mindful living and is open to everyone, but you need to register in advance. 

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