Writing in my journal has been a habit for me off and on since I was in high school. I don’t have any set routine around it and sometimes I’m not very consistent. I can go months without journaling only to pick it back up when reading a certain spiritual book, working on trauma healing, I need to work something out, or it’s a new moon ritual.
I know many people set certain times around it and there is great popularity in Morning Pages, but I find that I don’t have time in the morning. I’ve tried it, but then I’m stressed when I can’t get it done. I find that the weekends or evenings are best for me, when I’m not dashing off to work.
But why am I journaling? Why does anyone take up their pen and put it to paper? Because there are benefits to help us with our mental health and lowering stress levels. Journaling can take on many forms, depending on what you need in that moment.
Sometimes we just need to get it all out and when we re-read what we wrote, we can then process thoughts or feelings and possibly find solutions. This in turn finds a place for negative thoughts to go and once released we can boost our mood by focusing on something more positive, such as gratitude. Having a gratitude practice has been shown to help improve our lives and keeping a gratitude journal is one way to do that, writing down 3 things each day you are grateful for.
We can also use journaling as a time to reflect on our goals, writing them down, creating action steps in how to achieve them, and finding ways to check in on our progress. We might not know where to begin when making changes or starting a new project, so goal and intention setting gives us a road map.
I often use journaling as a way to capture my thoughts or feelings about issues. It’s a way to talk with my inner guidance by writing it all down so I don’t forget what has come up for me while I’m reading books about trauma or yoga philosophy. This is the way I connect to myself and get back to who I am without any other influences.
Journaling is very private, and I highly recommend doing this when alone and taking your quiet “me” time. This is your personal relaxation and wind down time if needed. So how do you begin?
Get your tools
You can pick up a spiral notebook from the dollar store or a fancy journal from the bookstore. It really doesn’t matter what you write in, only that you will use it. The same applies to your writing instrument, whether pen or pencil doesn’t matter, only one that you like and helps your words flow easily onto the page.
Ease into it
Maybe you start with some guided prompts to get started until you know how you want your journaling practice to go and how you want to use it. These prompts can also awaken thoughts in you as you begin to understand how journaling can help. Then you can try free writing about a topic that is bothering you. Remember this is all about you, no one else.
Find your time
Pick a time when you know you won’t be interrupted as you never know how long you might disappear into your journal for. And pick a time that you might stick with pretty consistently. It’s perfectly fine and normal not to journal every day, but if you want this to be a wellness habit you keep in the future, you will want some parameters to keep you coming back. After all, habits are built around things we enjoy and do with ease.
And most importantly, just begin! All the other factors will fall into place once you start writing it all down. So, pick up that pen and give it a go!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a writer, speaker, educator and coach my goal is to help guide people on their own journey to making a wellness lifestyle work for them.
My holistic approach teaches that it’s not just about the nutrition we put into our bodies or our fitness routine, we also need to take care of our own well-being as well.In order to truly live a healthier life we need to realize this is a shift and change in our whole lifestyle and we must cultivate this lifestyle every day.
I’m a certified health coach with a Master’s degree in Health Promotion with a concentration in Community Education.
This degree prepared me to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). All of this knowledge is helping me create health education programs for children and adults alike.
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