The Art Of Journalling: How Can It Help My Well-Being?
All you need is a pen and paper, and it could transform your life.
Journalling is an easy habit that could make a huge difference to your well-being. All you need is a journal and pen, then you can begin filling it with ideas, feelings, anxieties, memories - anything you want! The great thing about this practice is that it’s entirely personal and you can use it however you need.
Studies show that journalling improves communication when you write down your thoughts, decreases emotional stress and can help improve overall happiness and well-being. Journalling is a way to work through your problems, reflect on how you’re feeling and get it all out in the open to empty your mind.
There are no rules. It doesn’t have to be pretty, neat or laid out in a certain way. A journal is a piece of you so embrace whatever form that comes in. You unlock the true potential of journalling when you stop trying to do it ‘right’ - you can write in it any time, for however long you want and about anything you desire. It’s for your eyes only so you can write down your deepest secrets or be your weirdest self, make it fun and personal.
Many of us are plagued with goals that we never really put into action like ‘I will get healthy this year’ or ‘I will get a promotion this year’ or ‘I will start a new hobby this year’ but life can get overwhelming. Benjamin Hardy in Inc says, “when there's a gap between who you are and who you intend to be, you are incongruent and unhappy” and journalling is the middleman that can help navigate that relationship.
There are multiple kinds of journals to choose from: one line a day journals, 5-minute journals, gratitude journals or a plain old diary. One line a day journals are a gateway to get into the practice of writing, you simply write down one thing from your day. There are tons of 5-minute journals to choose from but they usually have writing prompts that you can spend a couple of minutes answering before you start the day or at the end of your day. Gratitude journals have especially come into popularity this year, although 2020 is not what we hoped it would be, it did teach a lot of us to slow down and appreciate the world around us: many people turned to gratitude journals to remain positive. Plain diaries are free form so they allow you to write whatever you want rather than following a guide, but choose whatever option works best for you.
The first page is going to be the hardest, a blank page is intimidating. You may feel ‘is this thought journal worthy?’ Or ‘I don’t want to ruin it already’ but try to let go of any preconceived ideas and let your pen take you away. This feeling will vanish as you go along, it will feel natural to put thoughts to paper. Although you can journal anytime in the day, morning and evening is most popular because it allows you to set intention for the day and reflect on your day.
If you journal first thing in the morning then you can set goals and choose a positive affirmation to stick with. If you’re faced with any stress or anxiety later on in the day you can ground yourself with your morning writing. If you journal in the evening, you can dump all your thoughts about your day, relax and end your day on a positive note.
Ideas for your journal:
- Write down any worries or anxieties you are feeling today
- Write down something you are proud of today
- Write about something that brings you joy
- Write down a goal
- Write down your favourite quotes to look back on when you need them
- Write down positive affirmations
- Write down manifestations
- Stick receipts or trinkets from your favourite days inside
- Write down a gratitude list