Often upon hearing the word ‘Journaling’, an image comes to mind of a young girl sprawled out on her bed expressing her deepest thoughts to a beloved diary. Journaling, it seems, still reflects an adolescent behavior that adults no longer need to take part in. However, recent research has shown that spending a few minutes each day writing out our thoughts, can remarkably help our well-being. In fact, by taking the time to journal daily, one opens itself up to the many benefits below:
- Reduced Anxiety
- Continued Learning
- Greater Self-Awareness/Mindfulness
- Heightened Confidence
- Increased Motivation
- Improved Decision Making
- Healing Power
- Enhanced Mood
- Higher Level of Critical Thinking
While picking up a pen and expressing oneself might come naturally to some, others may struggle to write out the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that truly make up a journal. Not knowing where to begin or what to say, is completely normal though, which is why we have comprised a list for how to write and even what to write when it comes to journaling!
How to Write:
- Use a pen and a piece of paper. Our computers might be our go-to, but old school is the way to go when it comes to journaling!
- Try to write a minimum of 3-4 sentences. If you can write more, even better!
- Consistency is best, so strive to journal once a day to reap the full benefits.
- Keep your writing personal. By doing so, you will be less hesitant to truly express yourself.
- Reflect before, during, and after your journaling session.
- Do not rush. Give yourself a specific period of time to complete your entry. Whether it is 5 minutes or 15 minutes, allocate time each day to your writing and use it!
- Complete your writing when you wake up or as you settle down for the night.
What to write:
- Your happy moment for the day
- A problem that you have overcome
- A goal for the day/week/month/year
- Something you achieved that day
- Something you are looking forward to
- The things that you are thankful for
- One thing you have learned today
- An expression of your emotions
Ultimately, your journal is a personalized tool to help you through life. It is “an ideal environment in which to ‘become’. It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, explain, remember, and dream” (Brad Wilcox). And whether you choose to write in a big pink notebook or to start your entry with the words “Dear Diary’, it might be just the thing you’ll want to pick back up this new year.