There is something powerfully healing about regularly engaging in the simple act of putting pen to paper. Keeping a daily journal is a powerful way to invite our thoughts and feelings to come out in words, sentences, ideas, and (if we’re lucky) the occasional revelation.
As with any new habit, integrating the mindful practice of journaling into your day-to-day life takes some time and effort. Be patient with yourself while also remembering that consistency and dedication are essential. Consider journaling like peaceful meditation or yoga practice. Before long, it will become a daily practice.
Choose a particular, cozy space in your home to dedicate to writing your journal entry. Place your notebook and a few good-quality pens and pencils there, so your supplies are always ready. You can also add some items to design a simple altar to creativity. Consider things like:
- Crystals or stones
- Colorful pieces of art Photographs that make you smile
Invest in a crisp and sturdy notebook, something built to last. You can even use a diary to dedicate specifically to your writing practice. The notebook can be as plain or beautiful as you like. You want to associate it with positive emotions, especially if you’re keeping a gratitude journal.
Handwritten journaling is ideal, as there is a direct connection between our hearts and hands. This “old school” act of writing by hand whatever is on our minds, without editing or judging, offers a slew of mental and emotional health benefits.
Pressing pen to paper brings forth a different energy than typing words on a glowing screen, which most of us do all the time for work and to communicate with friends and family. However, there are many forms of journaling, and you might prefer to use a journaling app. You can add entries as they happen, also called consciousness writing.
Regardless of your approach to daily journaling, writing your emotions on paper has many benefits. Here are four positive benefits of journaling and how putting your feelings on paper can help you work through difficult emotions.
According to Dr. James Pennebaker, author of Writing to Heal, “When we translate an experience into language we essentially make the experience graspable.”
Journaling empowers us to process our positive and negative emotions. We better understand our challenges, strengths, desires, and dreams by writing down our worries, ideas, and plans. You might think writing about your daily life is silly, but it can help you work through your thoughts and experiences. Writing on a daily basis improves your emotional well-being.
Refusal to deal with our feelings will, sooner or later, lead to a heightened stress level. Studies have pointed to the idea that the emotional release of journaling helps reduce anxiety and alleviate stress, leading to better sleep and other physical health benefits. You can even write about traumatic events to understand them in a new way.
Paying better attention.
Keeping a journal conditions us to pay more attention to how we feel, what we want and don’t want, and what we choose to put into our bodies, minds, and hearts. You’ll find that you pay so much attention to your everyday life that you write for your entire journaling sessions without needing a writing prompt.
Through expressive writing, we strengthen our mindfulness muscles and pay greater attention to how we sit, stand, move, and behave. You’ll find that writing can lower your blood pressure as much as taking a walk around your neighborhood. This daily habit is just part of the beauty of journaling.
Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, writing first thing in the morning or making time to journal at night can be a solid plan. Making your journaling sessions happen around the same time of day is ideal.
Creating the time and space to write requires discipline. The more you engage in the practice, the stronger the habit will become. The best thing is that developing the writing habit will infuse discipline into other areas of your life. Writing at the same time of day will encourage more positive habits based on self-discipline.
Writing helps you improve your quality of life with new habits like regular exercise, greater devotion to personal practice, and healthy eating. A more complex type of journaling, such as bullet journaling, can inspire creativity and work your brain in a new way.
Journaling peels back the layers and gently strips away the masks we wear. It increases self-awareness, helps us continue our personal growth, and ultimately, makes friends with our mindstream. You’ll notice that your physical well-being and psychological well-being improve with regular writing practice.
Once you’ve established a daily journal routine, the next step is to reread. This practice can be challenging, as major resistance to delving back into your past may arise. If you’re like me, you may find you prefer to organize your closet or deep-clean the bathroom rather than paging back through your journal.
Reflection is key to healing. Find the time to sit and reflect upon what you’ve written. Spend ve to ten minutes writing about these reflections and planting seeds of intention for the next cycle or season of your life.
May these tidbits of information and advice benet you and help you initiate or revive a journaling habit. Happy journaling!