Let's Talk Journaling - Benefits and Getting Started
One of the more effective acts of self-care is also, happily, one of the cheapest.
Journaling has become a bit of a buzz word recently, and yes it is a relatively simple practice of writing down your thoughts and feelings, but when unpicked it really is a whole lot more than that.
Relieves stress and anxiety
For one, if you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal is a great idea as it can provide a healthy outlet and help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.
One of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion is to find a healthy way to express yourself. This makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health and can help you:
- manage anxiety
- reduce stress
- cope with depression
Self-discovery, helps you connect with yourself
Keeping a journal helps you create order when your world feels like it’s in chaos. You get to connect with yourself by revealing your most private fears, thoughts, and feelings. sometimes with surprising results, unearthing feelings or thoughts you may not have been aware of.
Self-reflection, processes your day, week, year
Sometimes we need a bit of perspective which only happens when we write things down. Reflecting on a day or week, may not be as bad or what we thought once its written down, as you're likely to see the not only the bad things but the good too.
How to journal
Perhaps one of the hardest thing is getting started. These tips may help:
Try to write regularly. Set aside a few minutes every day or even every week to write. This will help you to write in your journal regularly and create a routine.
Make it easy. Keep a pen and paper handy so when you want to write down your thoughts, you can.
Write whatever feels right. Your journal is yours and yours only and doesn't need to follow a structure, or a set format. HOw personal and how detailed you want to be is up you - it's your own private place to discuss whatever you want. Let the words flow freely. Don't worry what other people might think.
Use journal prompts. If you're stuck on where to start, use the below journal prompts as starters:
- Write about your day/week and the moments that stood out for you and why
- Write about something that made you happy
- My favourite way to spend the day is…
- Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
- If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is…
- The two moments I’ll never forget in my life are… Describe them in great detail, and what makes them so unforgettable.
Look at your writing time as personal relaxation time. It's a time when you can de-stress and wind down. Write in a place that's relaxing and soothing, maybe with a cup of tea. Look forward to your journaling time. And know that you're doing something good for your mind and body.