Journaling has been around for many years, but its popularity has recently gained momentum, especially during the pandemic. During COVID, we all had time to reflect and self-introspect. This was the stage when people became depressed and anxious and found their solace in writing.
Writing undoubtedly helps us release stress and understand what we actually want. Therefore, it is a healthy habit that must be inculcated and practiced every day!
So, what exactly is journaling? Today, in this blog, we will discover the importance of writing journals/ gazettes and how you can begin this vital practice.
So, without further ado, let us begin!
What is Journaling?
In layman’s terms, journaling is the process of taking down your thoughts on paper. Every person has a different way of writing journals. From bullet journals to logbooks to diaries, there are numerous kinds of journals people write. Every journal serves a discrete purpose. It is essential to note that the method you choose to journal isn’t as vital as the act of journaling regularly.
One of the significant benefits of journaling is that it is personal and flexible. There are no rules that need to be followed, which can prove to be immensely beneficial.
Journaling is simply recording your thoughts and feelings in a notebook. You can write about your life, the world around you, your purpose and goal in life, etc. Expressing your feelings will help you therapeutically as you will learn to deal with challenges and uncertainties in life.
It doesn’t matter how old or busy you are; finding just a few minutes to keep a journal could bring many advantages. A few of them are discussed in the next section!
Benefits of Journaling
Journaling has positive mental effects. Writing down your thoughts and emotions can lead to enhanced cognitive health. By keeping a journal, you will become clear as to what you have to do in life, what your aspirations are, so on, and so forth.
So, here are some benefits of journaling. Take a look!
1. Calms your Mind
Writing a journal brings in a certain sense of tranquility. When you jot down your thoughts at the end of the day, be it positive or negative; it calms your mind and makes you determined to face the challenges of tomorrow!
2. Achieve Goals
Maintaining a journal and writing your goals in it help you keep track of your intentions. This will enable you to stay accountable and remind you what actions must be taken to accomplish your targets. Remember to be specific about your goals. Don’t write vaguely!
3. Enhanced Writing & Communication Skills
Journaling improves your writing skills. When you journal every day, you are consciously or unconsciously practicing the art of writing. And with time, you become good at it. Moreover, expressing your thoughts and emotions will improve your communication skills. Thus, journaling revamps your writing and interaction prowess.
4. Reduced Stress & Anxiety
Sometimes, negative thoughts and emotions can run on a loop in our minds. Thinking pessimistically can make your life stressful and depressing. Therefore, writing down your feelings and emotions can help establish a positive mindset in such situations. Journaling can also assist you in coming up with solutions for the issues you have in life presently.
5. Strengthens Memory
Research shows that jotting down your thoughts can help reduce negativity and enhance memory. The simple act of writing lets your brain know what you want to remember and what not. This is why note-taking/ journaling is an effective process that strengthens your mind and enhances your concentration.
Journaling offers better mental and emotional health. A person who journals every day has clarity in life. Now, there are different kinds of journals that you can begin with. So, let us discuss them in detail.
Types of Journaling
Are you a beginner at journaling? Do you also need clarification about choosing between the types of journaling?
Don’t worry! We got you covered. Here are the different kinds of journals you can begin writing with!
- Stream of Consciousness Journal
Write down your thoughts as they occur. The words don’t need to make sense. You just have to capture them simply.
- Dream Journal
Note down your dreams every morning to remain in touch with your subconscious.
- Gratitude Journal
Before going to sleep, list everything you are thankful for in this life.
- Food Journal
Write what you eat every day. This will enable you to become more mindful of the dishes you choose to consume. If you are struggling to lose a little weight or gain some, documenting can provide you insight into the areas so that you can make the required changes.
- Sketch Journal
Express your feelings, thoughts, and ideas through illustrations, doodles, and sketches.
How to begin Journaling
If you are unsure where and how to begin writing, here are some journaling tips for you.
1. Keep a List of Go-To Prompts
Journaling prompts are easy questions and statements that help inspire your writing. The prompts are beneficial for beginners who need help figuring out where to begin from. Prompts vary depending on your purpose. For instance, if you are writing for gratitude, you can start with a prompt – “What is that one thing I can do to appreciate my family more today?” The more you write, the more you know what prompts you must use. There are different prompts for career, love, family, gratitude, etc. You can either create your own prompts or google them to get started!
2. Conversation is the Key
Many people struggle to journal because it feels like they are talking to themselves. So here’s a tip – write as if you are talking to someone else. You can interact with:
- Your younger self
- Your future self
- Someone who has hurt you
- Someone who needs your help
- Someone you admire
3. Don’t be Judgmental
There is no ‘accurate’ or ‘inaccurate’ way to write a journal. It is an unaltered version of your thoughts and emotions. While writing, practicing self-compassion and leaving your inner critic at the door is essential. Don’t shy away from your thoughts, and write freely. Expressing your views will make you feel more confident, thereby enhancing your communication skills.
4. Create a Routine
It is easier to write when you are happy and feeling motivated. But what about when you are not? Journaling must be made a routine as it will help you stay on track even when you are feeling low. Likewise, when negative thoughts surround you, writing can help relieve your stress and anxiety. Thus, try making journaling your daily habit to remain grateful and motivated.
5. Become Creative
Don’t be afraid to express yourself while journaling. Journaling includes more than just writing. You can draw, sketch, make use of colorful pens, etc., to demonstrate and exhibit your feelings and emotions.
6. Keep Realistic Expectations
As you begin journaling, don’t fill the pages with insightful thoughts. Having unrealistic expectations from life can discourage you from continuing your journaling practice because you won’t see immediate progress.
Like any other habit, you must set pragmatic & realistic targets and take baby steps to have desired outcomes.
There is no appropriate time to begin writing a journal. But it is crucial to make journaling your routine. For instance, if you are a night person, keep the journal either on your study or bedside so that you remember to fill in the details at the end of the day.
On the contrary, if you are a morning person, consider keeping your journal on the table where you drink tea, water, or coffee. These are only some suggestions to help you inculcate the habit of writing. Make sure to write for at least 10-15 minutes and use this tool for personal growth, self-discovery, and visualization. Thus, make your life fulfilling by maintaining a journal and witness a positive change soon!