In today's fast-paced world of social media, with its constant stream of information, it can be overwhelming to figure out what's happening, who's right, and navigating through the endless content. It's more important than ever to carve out time for yourself. Journaling is a fantastic way to do just that. In this article, we'll explore how to journal, why it matters, and the remarkable ways it can enhance your mental and physical well-being.
How to Journal
Pick Your Journal:
Choose a journal that you like, whether it's a notebook or an app. Find something that feels right for you. Recommendations: A notes app on your phone or Lememo Journal Unruled.
Tip: If you have an issue of perfectionism just as I do and feel that you can’t write in a journal without the burden of perfection in your mind. Here is how I handled my anal retentive nature while journaling. I opened up the center of my journal and scribbled with a maker. The journal is now tainted and can be written in a fashion that you like.
Find a Cozy Spot:
Set up a quiet place to journal. Make it comfy with soft lights and/or music. Here is my favorite journal playlist on Spotify. Creating a cozy space helps you relax and focus.
Make It a Habit:
Write at the same time every day. Whether it's morning or evening, having a routine makes it easier to keep journaling.
If you find that journaling at night spiked your creative muscle, use that to your advantage in the morning instead. This way the creative juices are flowing and you don't get all wired before bed.
I prefer night time as it provides me with the opportunity to reflect on my day and brainstorm creative ideas for the following day. Give it a shot at both times and see what works best for you.
Your journal is your private space. Be real and open about your thoughts and feelings. No one else has to read it, so be yourself!
If there's a concern that something might be seen by someone, feel free to rip out the page and burn it for no one's eyes to see. The idea is to get it out of your mind and hopefully find some peace in your soul.
When journaling, practicing radical self-transparency can accelerate your personal growth. It's about reflection, not self-criticism. Identify your weaknesses, strengthen the ones you can, and if some are challenging to improve, seek guidance from someone with those strengths while developing your own.
Try Different Styles:
There are lots of ways to journal. You ca
n try writing freely, making lists, or even drawing. Experiment to see what you enjoy most.
My journal looks like a jackson pollock painting. Sometimes when my mind is a bit chaotic I'll just scribble on a page.
Why Journaling is Important
Journaling helps you see who you are. It's like looking in a mirror for your thoughts and emotions.
It makes thoughts and emotions tangible. They are no longer floating in your head but now reside on a simple piece of paper. They can be crafted, molded or theorized to match a goal that you may have.
If you have ever had a thought that has been with you for years it's time to write it down and work on it.
Relax Your Mind:
Writing down your thoughts helps you let go of stress. It's like talking to a friend who listens without judging.
We don’t realize how much unnecessary stress we hold with us when it’s up in our heads. Getting these thoughts on paper allows us to realize what is important or not important.
Reach Your Goals:
Put your dreams and plans in your journal. It's a great way to stay focused and excited about what you want to achieve.
Goals don’t just happen. They are planned, executed and adapted all the time. Are you able to keep track of your mistakes to make better on
es next time.No? Then get them in a document or on paper so you can better track your progress.
Get Better with Emotions:
Journaling makes you more aware of your feelings. This helps you deal with them better and understand yourself and others.
When I first met my wife, my emotional IQ was maybe a 4 out of 10. I am no sociopath but I never was really good with expressing emotions. That is until I started, you guessed it, journaling.
It allowed me to open up my thought process surrounding my emotions.
Impact on Mental and Physical Health
Mental Health Benefits:
Stress Relief: Writing can make you feel lighter by getting worries out of your head.
Happier Moods: Focusing on good things can boost your mood.
Handling Feelings: Journaling helps you figure out why you feel the way you do and how to deal with it.
In a 2014 research study they found that people would rather receive an electrical shock than to sit alone with their thoughts. A very sad study indeed. We can alter this situation. In a world full of content and distractions, we often find it challenging to take a moment for personal reflection. However, by expressing gratitude for the things in our lives, we have the potential to boost our happiness. Additionally, dedicating time to introspection allows us to strengthen our connection with ourselves.
Physical Health Benefits:
Better Sleep: Writing before bed can calm your mind, making it easier to sleep.
Healthier Immune System: Less stress from journaling can help your body stay healthy.
e down three things you're thankful for each day. It helps you see the positive side of life.
I began doing this in text form as well. It is amazing the responses you get when you genuinely tell others you care for and are grateful for them.
Describe what's happening around you. This helps you stay focused on the present moment.
Again, in an age of distraction, being mindful of your surroundings and the earth beneath your feet can help you understand that most issues that may seem insurmountable will pass as everything does in nature. Take a look around your home and see something you haven’t recognized in a while. It's a wild feeling to find something new or that has been in your own home and hasn't been recognized in quite some time.
Set a timer and write whatever comes to mind. It's a fun way to see what you're thinking about.
This is a form of meditation. A thought comes in and you let it pass. In this practice the thought comes in that you write it down and then let it pass. Maybe later it will help you connect some dots for a solution you have been seeking.
Plan out your goals and the steps to reach them. Keep track of your progress and celebrate your successes.
This one is my favorite. If you happen to be like me and have 10+ goals at one time you’ll recognize that those goals go nowhere. Why? Because there is no intention behind them. Narrowing your focus to a max of three goals will increase your odds of achieving them.
In addition breaking your goals down into small habits will accelerate you to your goals.
For example, you want to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year. Break it down. First, reflect: am I ready to lose weight? Do I have the correct habits to sustain this for life? If no. Then start with the foundations such as tracking your calories, Sleeping 8 hours consistently and drinking enough fluids every day.
Psst, here is a secret for you…you may end up working on just these 3 for months. What!
Yes! If the foundations don’t exist how do you expect to build a skyscraper?
Back to losing 10+ lbs. Break it into quarters such as January - March, April - June, Etc.
So after you have nailed your foundational habits of health in January - March you may begin on your journey to lose 10+ pounds. This means you have to lose 3.33lbs per quarter for the remaining 3 quarters of the year. That means you need to lose 1.11 pounds per month which means you need to lose .28 pounds per week. If you were to walk an additional 2000 steps per day from your current average steps you could lose .28 lbs per week!
This is an extremely simplified example but you could theoretically hit your 10 pound weight loss goal in 9 months by simply walking an extra 2000 steps per day.
This went a little off the rails but this is exactly why journaling helps you reach your goal. You can chisel a mountain down to a molehill.
Keeping a journal can make a big difference in how you look and feel. By making it a regular part of your day and trying out different styles, you can discover more about yourself, relieve stress, and boost your longevity. Remember, your journal is your space to be yourself, so enjoy the journey of journaling.