Journaling for Teens
Why Journaling is Good for Teens
There are many ways journaling can help someone, from finding clarity to expressing your emotions, but there are some unique advantages for pre-teens and teenagers. Here are some of the top benefits for teens who start using a journal on a daily basis.
It Improves Their Self-Esteem and Confidence
If there is one thing that most teens universally struggle with, it is their self-esteem. This sometimes start when they are younger, but typically starts around ages 12 or 13. Through journaling, they discover so much about themselves, including what might be causing the low self-esteem and ways to improve their confidence.
This is especially true with the use of positive thoughts, positive affirmations, and journal prompts about self-esteem and body confidence. If your teens struggle in this area, it is definitely worth looking into the right types of journal prompts.
Journaling Can Reduce Their Stress
Journaling has been known to reduce stress for people of all ages, including your teenagers. Through the act of writing out what you are thinking and how you are feeling, including what you might consider negative thoughts, it helps to get it out of your head. There is a type of freedom you feel when it is no longer consuming you. You might still think about it sometimes, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming and like it is taking up too much space in your head.
It Helps with Mindfulness
Mindfulness can be really powerful for your teenage kids, which is also a skill they can
bring into adulthood. Mindfulness with journaling is really easy to do. Have your teenagers write about what they are currently thinking or feeling. Not what they were doing last week or earlier that day, and not what they plan to do tomorrow. Just focus on right now, this very moment as they are writing. This simple act gets them used to practicing mindfulness in such a basic way.
Self-Reflection for the Future
Among the many struggles of this age, is not knowing what you want to do with your life, and feeling pressured to make a decision. Self-reflection and seeking clarity is such an amazing benefit from journaling.
No matter what age your teens are, from 13 to 19, they are probably a little confused about their direction in life. What to study in college, whether they want to go to college, what type of job they want, where they want to live after they graduate, what will happen to their friendships and relationships, how life is going to change.
They can get the answers to all this and more just by using their journal.
How Journaling is Different for Teens Than Adults
While journaling itself has many of the same benefits for people of all different ages, there are some slight differences for teens, as opposed to adults. Here are some reasons it can be different for your teens, which might give you more insight into why it is so useful for them.
Being a Teenager Has Unique Challenges
You probably remember being a teenager. It is a really complicated, confusing time where hormones seem to run your life. With these unique challenges, it makes sense that journaling can be a little different during this time in your kids’ life.
With these challenges, it sometimes feel like you don’t know where you fit in, or really who to talk to, aside from your friends. But there might be things you don’t want to tell your friends because you don’t know if they will understand. That is the beauty of writing in a journal, and being able to express any challenges you face to understand a little more about being a teenager.
Journaling Provides a Creative, Safe Outlet
Everyone wants to feel like their thoughts and feelings are private, but teenagers often
don’t feel like they have this freedom. With journaling, they feel like they have one place that is all theirs, and this can nurture their creativity and open up so much in them that they didn’t realize they possess.
Just writing in a journal is a creative process, whether doing stream of consciousness style where you write whatever comes to mind, you use writing prompts to answer your questions, or you are dealing with something you just want to write about.
Self-Expression is Vital for Teenagers
Journaling is also an amazing way for teenagers to express themselves, which is often even more important at this age, than with adults. Whether you are a teenager yourself, or a parent of a teenager, you should understand how important self-expression and being unique at this age truly is.
With a complicated phase of life such as this, it’s hard to really understand who you are, but once you do, you may not know how to express it. Or maybe you have teenagers who seem to be struggling with this very thing. The journal helps them in a way that you might not remember much from when you were this same age.
Giving your teens a way to write out their feelings is therapeutic, simple to do, and gives them a little time away from the computer.
Teens Find Self-Discovery and Life Goals in Their Journal
For teens, the advantages of writing in a journal range from allowing them to express their emotions and thoughts in a non-judgmental way, to helping them figure out who they are. The self-discovery benefits are so crucial for teens who are trying to figure out what to do with their life.
Journaling Helps to Identify Where Teens are Falling Behind
A unique benefit that teens can get from their journal is that they understand where they might be lacking. Not mistakes they are making, but just identifying their role in society, and really helping to create goals based on their priorities for their life.
Going beyond this important discovery, teenagers can also figure out what resolutions there are for any troubles they face, or any choices they might want to rectify.
Goal Setting Starts with Honesty
With setting goals, the start to it is being honest with yourself and really figuring out what you actually want. Not what your friends are doing or what your parents expect, but what the teenager themselves want out of life.
If you have teens who you want to start writing in a journal, have them start with stream of consciousness style of writing. This is where they just write about whatever is on their mind, switching topics as much as they want. The point is to do a brain dump, letting everything out onto paper, and being as open and honest with themselves as they can be.
Journaling Can Become a Therapeutic Experience for Teens
It is not a mystery that journaling is therapeutic for most people, but teens have really found this to be something they can’t get elsewhere. Your teens might not be ready to talk to a counselor, therapist, or other trained mental health professional if they are struggling with anxiety, stress, or other issues. But they are probably comfortable writing about it in their journal. Give them this private space, and you will see how much they begin to thrive.
Teens Have the Opportunity to Find Their Passions at a Young Age
Finding your passions is so difficult, even as adults who haven’t found them yet. It is a blessing for teens to have this opportunity. Journaling when you can really be open with yourself, has amazing powers. Even when you least expect it. Your teenagers might find that just by writing how they feel or doing stream of consciousness in their journal, they suddenly have a lightbulb moment about what they want to do.
Anxiety in Teens and How Journaling Can Help
While many people talk about anxiety for adults, teenagers and young adults are often overlooked. Teenagers are going through a lot of changes at the same time, and anxiety can run rampant without even realizing what it is. It is essential that teens get the same support and help for their anxiety as other adults, which journaling can help a lot with.
A Rise in Anxiety Among Teenagers and Young Adults
It is no surprise that teenagers are struggling more with anxiety these days. The National Institutes of Health reported that approximately 1 in 3 teens are dealing with anxiety. There has been speculation about many causes of the rise in anxiety among teenagers and adolescents. Social media and the over-consumption of technology comes up quite often, as well as just the state of affairs teenagers are dealing with these days.
Journal to the Rescue?
There are a wide range of ways to deal with anxiety, not just for teens but people of all ages. From therapy to medications, just about every option is available. But if you are looking for a small place to start, journaling is a great option.
When it comes to anxiety, no one size fits all. Different people find different remedies to help them the best, though most use multiple anxiety-relief strategies. Journaling is something many anxiety sufferers have benefited from.
It can help give them a place to release the burden, to identify what is causing their anxiety, and to use for various therapy methods.
Start With What’s Really Going on
A good way for teens to use journaling for their anxiety is to begin just writing how they feel and what’s going on. This includes anything causing these emotions, what panic attacks are like, and trying to identify what is triggering the anxious thoughts.
Allow your teens to just write it all out, as much and as often as they need to. Encourage them to write how they are feeling and what they are thinking when they have a lot of anxiety or stress, including after a panic attack is over. This is going to help tremendously to identify anxiety triggers.
Reframe Your Thoughts
The next part of journaling for anxiety is for teens to start reframing any anxious or negative thoughts they might have. While they do not need to turn every negative thought into a positive one, it helps to see what is causing their anxiety, then try to reason with themselves. What is the worst that could happen? Are their fears planted in reality, or just their own minds turning it into something far worse?