Why journaling helps and how do I start doing it
Something/ someone got you down? Facing a sticky situation you can't seem to find a solution for ? Facing an overwhelming task ? Procrastinating too much? Not sure where to begin? If you find yourself feeling asking / feeling things like above - I've got you covered.
I've been journaling on and off for decades now and if there is one practice / habit outside of reading that I would recommend to anyone - journaling would be it. So read on to see how I journal and what benefits I've personally got from it.
What supplies do I need?
You may have seen youtube videos and reviews of people using something expensive like the moleskin journals or use all sorts of writing tools like brush pens , calligraphy pens etc
to journal. To be absolutely honest, all you really need is a pen and a piece of paper :) However, it is good to get some type of book so you can carry it around and not lose it and can easily go back to older entries to get ideas. So go ahead and use a regular notebook or pick up a journal from Ross/Marshalls/Home Goods for an excellent price , or bullet journals like this one or something colorful like this one on amazon. Whatever floats your boat :). Done? Let's go!
What to put in a journal?
Journaling can be used to capture so many different types of info. . Is this a memoir type of journal where you want to record your experiences & memories? Are you using this to improve your storytelling & writing skills so want to use prompts to practise? Are you doing this for a specific purpose ex. creating a gratitude journal or bullet journal to help you with your goal setting and planning? Are you using this to create and track habits? Or are you using this like a morning journal - walking through a seemingly tough situation and getting clarity on how to proceed? As you can see there are so many reasons for journalling.
The most important thing to remember is TO HAVE FUN WITH IT . Don't take it too seriously and strive for perfection. Yes, A-type I want it to look perfect -er's am looking at you. A journal is an outlet for your stream of consciousness and we all know what a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions you can go through on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
Anyways, I wanted to leave you with some of my favorite examples of times I used my journal
1) To remember : When my son was born - I used a journal to capture what happened each day. "Today he gurgled " "He had his first shot " "We took our first solo trip" .. going back and reading these entries is magical - it takes me back in time and I remember what happened so clearly. In the same vein as this - I sometimes record my vacation details - where we went; what we did; what we ate ; what fun we had. Pictures are great but words help transport you in time and evoke some amazing memories.
2) To feel better and gain clarity : Whenever I am down and out or scared or overwhelmed or feel behind on my goals or things aren't going as planned or <insert negative emotion here>.. I journal :) It's comfort food for my soul. I came across this practice first in Tim Ferris' blog and his corresponding youtube video. He calls this practice "Morning pages". The idea behind this is simple : when our mind is filled with distractions and negative emotions - it blocks ideas from flowing and solutions from manifesting... dumping these thoughts on paper helps you see them more clearly . Furthermore, if you brainstorm solutions (no matter how crazy they may seem :) ) with curiosity & "so what" mindset - you will often hit upon a solution. At the very least you will walk away with what the first step to a tricky situation is.. trust me, just try this!
3) To inspire : One of my favorite "me time" activities is grabbing a good brunch someplace with a fun book and journal. Once am feeling all mellow and zen - I love to use my journal to introspect - what is going well; where do I want to go ; what high value activities can I adopt for myself and my family and so on.. We are all so caught up being "busy" in life TBH that we don't use the time to step back and check in and see if we are really spending time doing what we want to be doing. Try using your journal for this .. and soon you will feel revitalized and up for anything.
That about wraps it up for this post ladies & gents - have fun journaling! See you tomorrow.