Keeping a journal is great for your mental wellbeing. It can help you calm down and relax. If you are thinking of starting a journal then there is no time like the present.
Use the tools for you
Some people prefer to handwrite when it comes to journaling. They like to physically hold their work in their hands and spend time choosing a notebook to write in and a pen to write with.
Others prefer the security of having an online journal. They feel it is harder to lose work and prefer typing or speaking their thoughts into a computer rather than the physical act of writing. They appreciate the speed and ease of having an online journal as they can access it easily on a range of devices.
So which tools are right for you? Do you prefer the traditional route of journaling with a notebook and pen or are you more of a technology aficionado? Remember your journal is private and so it is important that you cater to your needs before starting a journal.
Write about anything and everything
What happened today? How are you feeling? What’s on your mind? Write it all down. What’s amazing about a Journal is that it doesn’t even have to make sense, as long as you understand it. So, forget grammar and syntax because who cares, right? It’s your journal. If you want to just scribble or doodle on a page, do. If you want paint a picture or practise your calligraphy, do.
It’s your journal.
I cannot express this enough. So, go ahead write your favourite music lyrics or inspirational quotes. Create characters or write a story. It doesn’t matter once it makes you happy. No one will ever read it, so feel free to be as honest as you wish. This is a place where you can go wild and express your personality.
Remember the most important thing is to have fun.
Develop a habit
Start small. Schedule journaling into your day, even if it is just five minutes. Set a time aside for journaling. Do this or you will never get around to journaling.
Start with a simple goal of writing every so often, be it every day or two or perhaps once a week if your schedule is very busy. However, it is important you make time for journaling and create a space to be yourself.
Manage your expectations. Some days you will do ten pages and other days you will do two. This is perfectly all right. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to meet specific journaling goals because this won’t be published and therefore you do not need to meet anybody’s expectations but your own.
Still no ideas? Well, then get to know yourself – ask some questions e.g. what are your top 5 favourite songs, films, books etc. Some people do a gratitude journal, so consider what was good about today and jot that down. See an image or a picture that means something to you – why? Just write. You will get the hang of it sooner than you think.
Take your journal everywhere
Keep a journal in your bag at all times. This way when inspiration hits, you have an intimate place to express it. On the bus and you want to jot down your thoughts, take it out. Overhear a conversation that gives you an idea for a story, take it out.
A journal is a very useful thing to keep you occupied while waiting to meet someone or any other situation where you find you have the time. While on holidays, you might find a nice café to sit and journal in. There is nothing better than taking yourself somewhere and relaxing with a journal. Let your thoughts flow freely wherever you are and this time, you won’t be pining for your journal while it sits at home on your bedside locker, you will have it within reach.
Use it to de-stress
Whenever you feel anxious or stressed simply take out your journal and let it all your energy out. Get angry in your journal. It has no consequences as no one will ever see it. So, vent, vent away to your heart’s content and everyone around you will be none the wiser.
A journal is a fantastic way to help you overcome your emotion or at least it can assist you in processing them. Afterwards, upon reflection, you might realise that the problem is not worth stressing over and does not deserve your time and attention.
Remember in every cloud there is a silver lining and you might be able to find this by leaving all the stress on the page and allowing your head the space to find a solution.
Good luck and don’t forget to have fun!