Journaling had always been something that I wanted to give a go. I had heard so many people talking about how beneficial it is, but I never found the time to start. However, recently I decided to try it out and I am so happy that I did! So today I will discuss the advantages of journaling, ideas of what to include in your journal, and most importantly… how to start journaling.
The Advantages of Journaling
Helps manage stress
Journaling allows you to work through your feelings and worries. When you note down what is making you stressed or anxious it can soothe your nerves and help you think of solutions.
Helps track healthy habits
If you journal your healthy habits daily (for example: water intake, hours of sleep, exercise) it will allow you to spot patterns and encourage you to keep on top of staying healthy. This in turn may improve your wellbeing, making you happier and healthier.
Helps you sleep better
Sometimes it can be hard to go to sleep when you have many thoughts circling around in your mind. Noting these thoughts in your journal right before bed can help you to release them, allowing you to have a more peaceful sleep.
Helps you reach your goals
Writing down goals has been proven to make you more likely to achieve them. Therefore, journaling down your goals helps you commit to them and allows you to identify how you can achieve them. This in turn can make you more accountable and allow you to get closer to reaching your goals.
Helps improve mood
Writing down your feelings improves your mood because you’re expressing your emotions instead of holding them inside you. Furthermore, when you note down your feelings you may be able to put things into perspective and see that things are not as bad as they seem. This helps with gratitude and happiness.
Helps improve mindfulness
Journaling about the present moment and your surroundings can help you to become more mindful each day. Doing this consistently can teach you how to stay in the present and not worry about the future or brood over the past.
Helps boost your self-esteem
If you write about your day’s highlights or your biggest achievement it can improve your self confidence. Journaling allows you to put things into perspective and helps you focus mostly on the positive rather than the negative.
- Mood tracker (this can be colour coded and filled out daily)
- Gratitude list (can be a list of three to five things that you note down each day)
- Goals (these can be small daily goals, bigger life goals, or both)
- Inspirational quotes
- Healthy habit tracker (can include sleep tracker, water intake, exercise log, meditation log, etc)
- To-do list
- Savings tracker
- Meal planner
- Daily reflection (noting down your feelings, any achievements, any stories, etc)
- Anything else (favourite songs, favourite shows, favourite books, things that make you happy, drawings, etc)
How to Start Journaling
Personally, how I started journaling was to write a little every day. Every morning or every evening when I had five to ten minutes to spare, I would just jot down a few things I was grateful for, an inspirational quote and a to-do list for the day. After a while I found myself wanting to write more so I started including a mood tracker, goals, a healthy habit tracker and a daily reflection. I typically make a mood tracker and healthy habit tracker over the weekend when I have more time and so during the week all I have to do is my daily reflection, gratitude, to-do list and then simply fill in the other things.
Here are some ways to incorporate journaling to your daily routine:
- Stick to the basics (gratitude list, to-do list, and daily reflection). This way there is less pressure to write a lot of things, and instead you can just spend five to ten minutes a day focusing on the most important things.
- Add it to your daily routine. If you make it a point-to journal, it may be a lot easier to start and stick to it! For example, I make it a point-to journal directly following my after-school snack.
- Learn about the benefits. Knowing and learning about the countless benefits that come with journaling, (some of which are above) may motivate you to give it a go!
- Type instead of writing. Although journaling on paper is better for stress relief, if you don’t have time to open up a notebook and hand write then that is okay. Instead, you could simply type which would save you a lot of time.
- Make journaling fun. If you view journaling the same way as you view homework, (just another chore that must be done) it won’t be enjoyable and you probably won’t be able to stick to it. To make journaling more fun you could write while listening to music, drinking tea, sitting in a cozy place or out in nature, etc.
Here are a few more ways to get started: click link HERE.
The Bottom Line
Overall, journaling can do wonders for your mental and emotional health, allowing you to feel happier, content with the present, less stressed and more grateful. It can be hard to make journaling a habit and carve out time in your day to write down a few things. However, I hope I have convinced you that it’s worth it! To everyone that is reading this, I encourage you to start journaling after finishing this blog. Happy journaling 🙂
Some Pictures (credits to Pinterest)