Did you keep a diary when you were young? A top-secret journal is a childhood rite of passage for many of us, but the benefits of a regular journaling routine can be substantial once you’re an adult, too! Most of us struggle with stress and anxiety at some point in our lives, and mental health experts suggest that finding time to keep a journal can help you identify stressors, work through difficult situations, and develop a more positive view of yourself. However, it can feel challenging to establish a regular, meaningful journaling routine. Here are our tips for getting started.
1. Choose Your Journaling Style: The first step in journaling is finding the style of daily writing that works for you. You can pick from countless types of journals, but these are a few of our favorites:
Gratitude Journal: To keep a gratitude journal, make time to write down three things you’re thankful for each day. They can be small—a good cup of coffee, a phone call with a friend. A gratitude journal is excellent for developing a more positive outlook, and for finding time to journal regularly if you have a busy schedule.
Dream Journal: Consider keeping a notebook beside your bed and jotting down the details of any dreams you remember after you wake up. If you can identify recurring patterns in your dreams, you might be able to better understand your most common worries or concerns.
Travel Journal: If you’re a frequent flier for work or fun, a travel journal might be your perfect fit. You can jot down memories from the places you visit, or use your journal to plan out your next adventure.
Bullet Journal: For those of us who love to stay organized, a bullet journal is a great option! These list-based journals are perfect for those with busy schedules who prefer a more practical approach to a daily writing habit. There are lots of ways to get started with a bullet journal—this guide is a fantastic introduction.
Traditional Journal: Last but not least, you might choose to keep a traditional journal. Simply set aside some time to write down your thoughts, fears, hopes, and accomplishments each day, with no special theme or format in mind. This style of journaling is ideal for digging deep and allowing yourself to be creative.
2. Pick Out Inspiring Materials: Once you’ve determined your journaling style, invest in some materials that will make you excited to write! Head to the stationery store for a new notebook and some pretty pens that you’ll be eager to pick up every day.
3. Create a Routine: The toughest part of keeping a journal is being consistent. It can be easy to push your practice to the side as the demands of daily life pop up. Make journaling a welcome part of your day by establishing your writing time as a moment of relaxation. Consider writing first thing in the morning, or after you’ve settled into bed for the night. Light a candle, brew a cup of tea, or play some music you love to make the moment special—you’ll soon come to look forward to this short break in your day.
4. Make Time for Reflection: Once you’ve been journaling for a few months, take the time to look back through your writing. Reflecting on your daily thoughts can help you spot patterns in your life, remember special accomplishments, or chart your personal growth.
Do you keep a daily journal, or find another way to reflect on your day? Share your tips for creating a successful journaling routine in the comments!
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