Hands up who journals regularly?
“But I don’t have time…” I hear you say. Well people, make time because the only person who will benefit is you. Journaling is awesome for many different reasons.
For starters, it keeps you centred, helps identify your strengths and weaknesses and clears your head. Once you’ve written something down, you can let it go. It gives you an opportunity to reflect on your day, see what you were proud of or what you could have done differently.
But don’t only journal to talk about your day. Write down your dreams and aspirations and then go back and visit them periodically to see how you are progressing. Are you getting closer to your end goal?
“But I don’t know HOW to journal,” I hear you mutter.
It’s not hard. You don’t need a fancy book to write in – you can happily use a cheap school exercise book. It’s best to use a book and not your computer or phone because then you can’t get side-tracked checking social media or answering e-mails quickly.
Find a private place that is free from distractions.
Set a time limit – start with 5 minutes if you are just beginning.
Describe an experience – write down what happened that day.
Write affirmations e.g.
- I’m a caring mother/father/grandmother. (Yes! Journaling is for everybody.)
- I’m a fabulous cook.
- I’ve maintained my body weight.
- I’m a great teacher (or whatever).
- I passed my test well.
Adopt an attitude of gratitude – list a few things that you are thankful for.
Do a critical self-analysis. Who am I? What did I do right or wrong? What could I do better? What’s holding me back in life? How do I fix this?
Obviously, you don’t have to do all of these every day.
Have fun in the process:
- Maintain a log of successes.
- Start a journal of selfies.
- Write with your non-dominant hand.
- Keep a nature diary
Write first thing in the morning or last thing at night (or both). You certainly don’t need to be a great writer to benefit from writing down your thoughts and feelings.
Remember, your journal is private – for your eyes only – be honest with yourself. There’s no point in fibbing because nobody is going to see it.
In a nutshell, journaling increases your optimism, reduces symptoms of stress, helps you advance towards your chosen goals and makes you a better person.
Start writing people!