Today I wanted to share with you how to journal. Journaling is something I started doing years ago as a means of destressing, a way to vent and put my thoughts somewhere. At the time I was just looking to feel better and get things off my chest so I could sleep better. Little did I know at the time, that there were actually health benefits to doing this.
I’ve since discovered that some of the many benefits of journaling include reducing stress, managing anxiety, learning about oneself and understanding one’s emotions. Research is also showing that journaling increases immunity thereby improving one’s health.
If journaling is new to you, you may be wondering how do I begin? How do I journal write? What am I supposed to be writing about? Is there a right way to journal?
The thing about journaling is there is no one “right” way to journal, there’s a lot of room to make it your own. What you do want is to allow your thoughts and feelings to flow, to express them onto your paper.
Journaling can start with whatever is on your mind, on your heart, something that has been nagging at you. You can include hopes and dreams, how you see your life-changing and why. Sharing who and what you are grateful for in your life. You may start by just debriefing about your day, including some thoughts and feelings about it.
Looking back at my old journals from my early 20’s I would go on binges of writing for a week or two and then not write again for months. I would often journal when I was having an emotional breakdown and feeling as though I had no one I could trust or talk with about it. It allowed me to get my emotions, worries, and concerns out in a safe place.
Today my journaling looks very different than it did over a decade ago. Now I fill the pages of an entire journal in months. I write about all kinds of things, but often what’s coming up for me, today it was an insight I had into a habit of mine. As I was writing I was diving in further to that insight; hashing out and further expanding on understanding it and the role it plays in my life.
I will also use journaling to shift a mood, putting down on paper what I’m feeling. As I journal, I often realize the deep-seeded reason(s) around what I’m really feeling and why. As I learn about myself, I’m able to understand myself better and communicate with others from a more genuine place.
I also like to journal about what my goals and dreams are, what I want in a partner and in my future. I write about my career, frustrations, hopes, and ideas. I write about how much people mean to me, what I am grateful for in my life.
As journaling becomes a daily practice in your life, take time to enjoy looking back and reflecting on how much you’ve grown in life and relationships.
3 Tips to Journaling Daily
1. Buy or decorate a beautiful notebook to write in that inspires you and just feels good.
2. Carve out specific time to journal. Find a time that can be scared away from any family members or others. I tend to enjoy journaling earlier in the day when the world around me still feels quiet. Maybe for you it a mid-day break with tea or coffee? Is it in the evening as you wind down or before you go to bed? Carve out this sacred time and put it on your calendar.
3. Write without expectation. Simply write whatever is on your mind and in your heart and be open to the journey of where your writing takes you.