Journals are used to document or record the ins-and-outs of our everyday lives and can include anything and everything. Whether it’s about your day, what’s on your mind, something that’s bothering you or exciting you or a goal you have, journaling is a powerful tool we can use to help us express our thoughts and release what’s on our mind.
Journaling is a big part of my life. I’ve kept journals and diaries for as long as I can remember, and for many good reasons. Although I love many different forms of writing (poetry, anyone?!), journaling specifically has always been a therapeutic outlet and go-to for me to relax, relieve stress, and even get creative.
Journaling helps us in many different ways including reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and encouraging creativity.
3 Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling
1. Reduces Stress
Journaling helps reduce stress by decluttering a cluttered mind. It’s a great place to express ourselves and not only help ease a busy mind, but also act as a form of therapy.
Journaling is a place we can turn to that’s free of judgement and allows us to process our emotions, and although sometimes scary, also helps us face our troubles. Journaling enables us to be honest with ourselves which means getting clear on how we feel, recognizing what is and isn’t right for us, and listening to our gut so we can make the best decisions possible.
Being honest can be scary. It’s easy to ignore underlying truths within ourselves because certain things can be frightening to admit, especially when it mean making changes. Taking the time to sit down and write about how we feel can open us up in ways we don’t expect, and this sense of honesty and vulnerability can be very liberating and inspiring.
Journaling not only helps us release pent up frustrations or anxieties, it also gives us the opportunity to see different angles of a situation, reach our own conclusions, find clarity, and even encourage and uplift ourselves. More often than not, we already have the answers to the questions we’re asking – sometimes we’re our own best person to consult.
Journaling is incredible for relaxation and is one of the main reasons why I recommend journaling around bedtime, although anytime is just fine.
Taking a few minutes to relax and write while laying in bed – free of technology and electronic devices – gives us the chance to organize our thoughts and relieve the pressure from a busy mind. It’s a great way to spend quality time with yourself to check in on how you feel. It’s a win-win situation: you relax your mind and get a better night’s sleep, too!
Calming activities before bed help to promote restful sleep, such as reading, drawing, or writing, as they act like a form of meditation.
Any time you singularly focus on one task, you help to redirect your mind away from its whirlwind of thoughts about the past or future and into the present moment. This sense of mindfulness allows us to experience a greater sense of calm.
Journaling is also a great way to reflect on your day, your week, or your month. Reflecting helps us to understand more about ourselves, what we learned, what we could have done differently, or what we did really well. These are all essential to personal growth and allows us to feel a sense of connection with where we’re at and where we want to be in our lives.
Looking for more tips for relaxation? Check out my other tips on relaxing and reducing stress:
3. Getting Creative
Journaling allows us to get creative, and this is one of the best parts! In a world where we’re busy with a long list of responsibilities, it’s easy to lose touch with our creative side.
Use a journal as a way to express yourself creatively either through poetry (my personal favourite), short stories, lyrics, even doodles and little bits of artwork. There are no rules to journaling, so make the experience your own.
How to Start Journaling
There are a couple different mediums for journaling. My preference is a physical notebook, although blogging is also a great option. I journal whenever I feel I need to sort through my thoughts or just to recap on something that has happened. Sometimes this is every day, other times it’s once a week or less. Everybody is different, so find what works for you!
1. Invest in a journal or notebook. Enjoy the process of choosing one for yourself.
2. Pick a time to journal that works for you. Before bed is a great way to reduce stress and
promote restful sleep. Keep it in a spot that is easily accessible.
3. Begin with gentle prompts:
- How you’re feeling these days
- Something that’s bothering you
- Something that’s exciting you
- What you did today
- Your dreams, goals and plans
- Your fears
Try Stream of Consciousness Writing – this is when you simply write without stopping on a sheet of paper; you don’t pause to think about what you’re going to write, but rather, allow whichever thoughts are present to be transferred on to paper, with or without the use of punctuation. Try it out with 1-3 full sheet of paper.
Love journaling? Let me know in the comments below how long you’ve been journaling for and your favourite part about it!
Be sure to check out my video below: