Did you keep a diary as a child and write in how you were feeling, thoughts or just what you did that day? Well Journaling is really just the same thing,
It's a great place to keep things just for yourself and get them out of your mind and for children it's the perfect place to take some time out and write whatever they feel like and it can be a book or a scrap of paper which no one else reads. Journaling is proven to help as a coping mechanism.
How do I journal?
A journal is designed to be your own personal, safe place to put your thoughts. You don’t have to show it to anyone unless you want to. It’s completely private just for you. As no one else is going to see it or judge you for it unless you give them permission.
Give yourself a little space to doddle every day, in a book or just on scraps of paper, it can be on anything. You can draw, colour, sketch, write or just doodle…. Freestyle! There are no rules – it’s your choice!
The Benefits of Journaling
- There is increased evidence to support journaling has a positive impact on physical and mental health and wellbeing. Research indicates that regular journaling strengthens immune cell and decreases the symptoms of conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. The act of writing accesses your left brain which is analytical and rational, whilst this area is occupied your right brain is free to create, feel and process
- Gives a very clear sense of self. By pinpointing the things that mean the most to you and gaining a deeper understanding of the effect that your habits or environment have on you, then you will develop a clearer sense of who YOU are.
- A clearer direction of reaching your goals.Writing something down makes us accountable and it also gives us a place to chart out a plan of how it is that we plan on getting there. Plans start with ideas that must be taken step by step, and after having thought of it, figuring out how you’re going to get there is the next step.
- Track your progress. Perhaps we wouldn’t remember where we had begun or where it is we are going without a journal process. This can apply to goals that you may have physically, spiritually, mentally, or in your relationships. Especially when it comes to eating right, one of the first things you are asked to do with a dietician is to keep record of what it is that you are eating. Half of the time we go about life not realising how our time is being spent.
- Remember the good times. Sometimes, on our dark days, we need reminders of the things that have brought us joy in the past as reading about them can give us a mental lift and a different perspective.
- Take time to think about your day.This is so often easier said than done but just writing a “One line a Day” or “My Day in Three Words” can help reduce anxiety, improve your mood or inspire you do something different. It is also fun to see what you were doing on the same day all the years before!
- Writing your story can inspire others. Write with abandon. Write without any embarrassment or fear. This is a very brave thing to do. It is also very REAL and very INSPIRING. We all have good days, we all have bad days. Writing your story down may give you insight into how to help a friend, a child, or a family member by refreshing your memory on how you felt going through the same thing.
- Express yourself! Sometimes you just need to bash out those angry words on paper to get it out of your system. You can express yourself in a real way without having to (verbally!) pummel someone if all of those thoughts come out in a misdirected way to them. Or if you need to get those thoughts out to someone it helps you organise what you would want to say to them, in a healthy way.
- Commit to a schedule in a format that works for you and you will find that it will become a habit that you can strengthen just like a muscle gets stronger by working it.
- If you want to rip out a page, then do it, but don’t get hung up on what it looks like or trying to make it look ‘perfect’.
- Review it regularly – are there some pages you rarely use? If so, ask yourself why.
- Nothing has to be written consecutively. A journal serves its purpose best when you simply write any new information on the next blank page.
- If you want an organised journal, create an Index. It doesn't have to be fancy; it's what you'd expect, a list of page descriptions and their corresponding page numbers so you can find what you need when you need it. A bullet journal is great for organising.
- Keep your journal with you as you never know when inspiration may strike or you need an emotional outlet.
Check out the range of diaries and journals here.