The Benefits of Journaling: Plus Tips For Getting Started
Journaling has always been a part of my life ever since I was a kid. I kept a journal where I would store all my thoughts I couldn't share with anyone else and memories I wanted to keep alive. Later on, I started to incorporate drawings, paper art and paint in my pages. It evolved into a life long habit of keeping a journal even through my adult years.
If you're new to journaling or want to know more about the practice of journaling, you've come to the right place! In this post I'll be sharing with you all of the wonderful benefits of journaling and the supplies you can use to get started.
Journaling can be best described as a practice. This simply means that it’s best when you do it on a regular basis. Some people journal daily, while others journal a few times a week. It's really up to you how often you want to journal, but I will say that you will get the most out of the experience if you journal at least three days a week.
Let's get into the juicy deets, shall we! So, what exactly is a journal? A journal is a tool you use to record your personal thoughts on a variety of topics. It can be used for a myriad of purposes, depending on your need, preference, or interest. You can write in your journal as a method of working through emotions, gaining clarity, or defining your goals. Other popular uses for journaling include recording progress in hobbies or life in general like, tracking weight loss, reading, gratitude, financial habits, or other activities.
Your journal is a personal resource. You can utilize it in absolutely any manner you choose. That’s the beauty of journaling. The key, overarching purpose in journaling is to provide a place for self-growth. Whichever way you choose to use your journal, it will likely help you to improve your life in some way.
Your journal can also be in any form you choose. Some people love the hands-on approach of writing on paper. They choose a traditional pen and paper format for their journaling. Others have adapted to a more modern digital journal. You can use an ornate leather-bound journal or a simple ruled notebook. For those who wish to journal digitally, there are apps for both Android and iOS dedicated to the practice of journaling or you could opt for jotting down notes in a Word program or Google Docs. The choice is yours!
The thing I love about journaling, is that a journal doesn’t just have to be a place just for writing. You can be as creative as you want to be in this space. Collages are a popular tool for artistic expression, as is doodling, sketching, or even painting. Poetry is ideal for those who wish to explore words in more abstract ways. There are really no limits to the ways in which you can use your journaling space for self-growth and exploration.
Are you ready to get started on our journey to journaling? It’s going to be a wonderful ride, I promise!
There are no rules when it comes to journaling. You can record whatever it is you desire, in any way that makes sense for you. That means you can fill up as many or as few pages as you want. You're also free to use whatever medium you feel drawn to. If you don’t feel like writing paragraphs, try penning a poem or sketching a picture. Making collages with images cut out of books/magazines is also a popular method for journaling. You can do it your way and have fun with it :)
Your journal is a place for expression. It’s yours and yours alone. It’s common to worry about messing it up, making mistakes, or not being neat enough. However, it’s important to remember that no one will see your journal entries if you don’t want them to. So, you can feel free to let your thoughts and creative energy flow without feeling a need for perfection. Don’t let those blank pages intimidate you. In fact, being messy can actually be an advantage. When you’re in the writing flow, you’ll find that self-expression matters more than the appearance of your journal, and you’ll likely get more fulfillment from the process.
Reasons to Keep a Journal
There are a lot of reasons to keep a journal. Journaling is different than keeping an old-fashioned diary. When you think of a diary, you probably think of recording the day’s events and your thoughts regarding them. This type of writing has a fairly straightforward purpose. Journaling is more multi-dimensional. It can have many purposes. They can change based on your needs and objectives. You can keep one journal with various types of entries, or you could choose to keep separate journals, each with its own topic. For example; you can have a gratitude journal, a reading journal, study journal, goals journal, art journal, travel journal etc.
Diary entries can be a part of your journaling. These entries can serve to process the events of your day and to help keep important memories alive. They’re more than just recording the events of the day. The writing process itself is beneficial. You’ll improve your writing and exercise your creativity through journaling on a regular basis.
Journaling can be a way to sort out your feelings and to express things you might not otherwise be able to. The writing or artistic process lets you get things out of your head in a way that is cathartic and healing. It provides a unique perspective for understanding. When you journal, you can see patterns and gain insights that can lead to your own self-discovery or help you to organize your thoughts.
Journaling can also provide the structure you need to make difficult decisions. You can start with a pros and cons list, but your journal space lets you go deeper allowing you to explore your feelings regarding each consideration. You can discover the rationale behind your feelings, which gives you more evidence upon which to base a decision.
Your journal can be a place to record your thoughts and feelings about significant people in your life. This is a great way to enhance relationships by showing you what’s important about the folks who are most important to you. It can also be a way to work out any interpersonal conflicts on paper before approaching these issues in real life.
Journaling is an effective way to track your progress regarding various aspects of your life. You’ll see how far you’ve come regarding self-growth when you look back over your entries. When setting big goals, writing about the steps you take to achieve them gives you a record of your successes and setbacks.
You can truly get to know yourself when you journal. No matter what type of journaling you do, you’re putting yourself into it. Self-discovery is something you’ll always gain through the process of keeping a journal. This self-knowledge can contribute to success in all areas of life and make you an overall better person.
It also provides a better understanding of your purpose and what means the most to you in life. As you build your journaling practice, you’ll begin to see patterns in your writing. It’s natural to gain insight into your motivations when you write on a regular basis. Understanding your purpose can lead to an immense amount of personal satisfaction.
Self-awareness is a natural by-product of the journaling process. Knowing yourself is priceless when it comes to becoming an overall better and more complete human being. Understanding your motivations, your values, and your priorities lets you make life stories that reflect your authentic self. You’ll live with far less regret and stress when you really begin to understand yourself and act in ways that are in accordance with who you are as a person.
These are just some of the many reasons you may wish to pursue journaling as a daily practice. Once you begin, you’re sure to discover new ways to use this daily ritual.
Which journaling style do you think you want to try? Comment below!
“I don’t journal to ‘be productive.’ I don’t do it to find great ideas or to put down prose I can later publish. The pages aren’t intended for anyone but me. It’s the most cost-effective therapy I’ve ever found.” – Tim Ferriss