We’ve all had our own journals to write in when we were kids. Either we were influenced by the movies that we watched or we just liked writing. But, do you know that journaling is a famous coping mechanism for mental health conditions? Journaling can help you deal with the pain, stress and anxiety that you are feeling. It can give you clarity in life or just act as a best friend to whom you can confide in. It can help you prioritize your concerns, problems and fears; find out your triggers and how to cope with them and identify the cause of your negative thoughts.

If you’re struggling with mental health, journaling can be a source of calmness in your life. There is no hard defined format of journaling, some people like to write about their feelings, some like to answer the questions they have in mind and some like to portray their pain in a creative format.

We’ve all heard of comics, they are a medium used by artists who express their ideas with images, combined with text. Comics can be funny or informative, but they are generally associated with comedy and provide humour to a situation.

Journaling and comics can be combined to give yourself a chance to make fun of the self-doubts that have been living inside of you. You do not have to be artistic to do comic journaling, nobody can see these journals if you don’t want them to. It is just a portrayal of your feelings in a visual format. Sounds interesting?

If you want to try comic journaling, here are some steps to guide you through the process:

  1. The first step in comic journaling, apart from taking up a notebook and pen, is to recognise the problem or the negative thought that has been troubling you. This could be any minor decision that you are unable to make, like what you should wear, or something complex that has been troubling you like self-love.

  1. Try to find a counter for this thought. It might seem like you do not have a counter, but trust us, you do have one. You need to ask yourself, what is making me feel this way? Why do I think it is difficult to do this? For example, you can’t choose what to wear, it might be because you are scared of being judged. You can ask yourself, why am I so scared? You will find your answer and once you do, we will move on to the next step.

  1. Draw what you figured out. You can draw yourself, an emoji or a stick figure. It doesn’t have to be perfect. The only thing that matters is that you like it. You can draw your problem and your contradiction to your problem. This will give you a chance to look at the problem from a third perspective.

  1. Do whatever you want with the comic. You can laugh at it, you can think about it, or talk to someone about it. This is your call, you get to decide what you want to do with the problem. Now, you have the power against the problem.

You don’t have to make these comics every day, you can do it whenever you feel like you need an outlet for your emotions. Comic journaling can be your outlet for these emotions, it can help you relax and take a break and provide order in the chaos that is going on in your head. It also gives you a sense of productivity and creativity. You can do it either in the safety of your home or while sitting in the park looking at the scenery. You decide the rules of journaling and how you would like to use it to your benefit.