What is Journaling, and How Do I Start?

Journalling is a great way to take stock of your life. It gives you an opportunity to reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly. What were the big challenges or successes of the day? What did you learn or accomplish? What mistakes did you make? The best part is that you can take these journal entries anywhere and write them down. They'll always be there when you need them.

Journaling can help you find the balance between living your life and looking back to guide you, as well as acknowledgment of your accomplishments and feelings towards them. Journals have been used for personal growth in so many ways we are yet to understand. They can be used to cope with tough times and conflict; to reflect, solve problems, learn from mistakes, heal, gain perspective, and so much more!

What are the benefits of Journaling?

  • Managing Anxiety - Stress and anxiety often manifest as thoughts, feelings, and actions that are stressful or anxious. Journaling allows for you to work through those anxious feelings and obsessive worries.

  • Improve Mindfulness - Through journaling this can boost your presence in moments and allow you to become more aware of your surroundings. When journaling writing about your surrounds and the present moment increases your mindfulness everyday.

  • A Record for your Future Self - The more you journal, and the more consistent you are a journal is like a photo book, but with words. You can relive days of your past self through an old journal. Reading your old journals can give you a perspective on how far you've come and the journey you are currently on.

  • Discovering your Voice - Journaling everyday allows your to really discover your true authentic self. Being free with your words and letting them flow is incredibly liberating.

  • Improves your Mood - Writing down your every emotion, including your fears allows you to open the lid rather than keeping things bottled up within. Journaling can help you clear your mind of intrusive thoughts and problems that have been playing about on your mind all day. Journaling can help you identify you triggers and learn how to handle them.

  • Solving Problems - Writing about your emotions enables you to become self-aware. As this allows you to process what you’re going through and work past high emotions to look at situations more objectively. If you journal for long enough, you’ll may also get tired of complaining about the same problems, and try and find a solution.

  • Dealing with Trauma - In extreme cases, journaling can help you deal with any internal traumas, writing out the experience, the emotions felt, the location, and other details can help process the trauma, and find a way to move past it.

Tips on how to start journaling:

There isn't one way to start journaling, some people don't see a reason to write out how they feel every single day, and some do. Journaling is process that is private to whomever chooses to do so. Nonetheless, if you do want to start journaling, or like me have struggled to stay consistent, here are some tips!

  • Start small and be realistic with your expectations - The first time you start journaling don't be worried if you don't have a lot to write, and don't be surprised if you have a lot to write.

  • Make journaling a part of your day - scheduling journaling into you day allows you to be consistent with your journaling journey. Set aside a time in your day, could be morning, afternoon or evening and get journaling. if it's easier attach it another habit that you are good at maintaining.

  • Tracking your journaling habit - on a calendar, mark everyday you've journaled. This allows you to acknowledge any habits in your journaling journey, and allows you also to hold yourself accountable for any days missed.

  • Take it with you everywhere you can - put your journal in your bag, in moments where you feel you mind is clouded, if you're on a bus or a train, you can easily pull out your journal and get your thoughts down. A journal can also be a great substitute for smart phone scrolling. Whenever you find yourself restless and reaching for your smartphone, pull out your journal instead.

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