A new year means a new opportunity to grow as a person and to strive toward the goals I’ve set for myself. One of my goals for 2019 is to keep a journal and to actively write in it daily. There are many reasons I want to do this—stress reduction and mental health being on the top of that list.
I’ve struggled with depression for a few years now. This year, I want to take the reins of my life and end that depression. Using a journal is just one way I will fight against the negative spiral I’ve entered.
What Are The Benefits of Using A Journal?
There are many benefits to keeping a journal. First of all, writing down the thoughts and getting them out of your head is a good way to reduce the stress in your life.
Putting it on paper can help give you a new perspective on the problems you are experiencing. Your journal provides you with a place where you can brainstorm and come up with multiple solutions to your problems. This is a great way to see all of your options and then decide which road you should take.
Journaling is also good for emotional healing. Too many people don’t have someone they can talk to or someone they feel comfortable discussing their problems with. Some issues that people face are embarrassing and they would rather not let their skeletons out of the closet. Journaling can help you work through the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. Acknowledging you are having a hard time is the first step to emotional healing.
You can also use a journal to discover new things about yourself that you may not have known. Daily journal prompts are a good way to do this. No one is perfect. There is always going to be something that you feel you need to improve upon. Journaling can help you to discover your imperfections as well as your more amiable qualities.
Why Should I Start a Journal?
There are so many reasons why a journal can be helpful. Other than the reasons mentioned above, here are a few more.
- Improve mental health
- Practice gratitude
- Capture and keep track of ideas
- Reduce stress
- Stay organized
- Become a better writer
- Stay focused on what’s most important
- Outlet for creativity
- Provides a space to actively work through problems
- Helps to process thoughts and emotions
What Types of Journals Are There?
There are multiple ways and lots of different types of journals that you could keep. Personally, I have 2 journals: a writing journal for thoughts related to my latest novel and a bullet journal for my daily life. There are also gratitude journals, bible journals, self-healing journals, personal planning journals, fitness journals, and many more. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can journal. You are only limited by your own imagination.
What Should I Write About?
A journal is much more than just a diary. When I think of a diary, I think of a book where I keep my “string of consciousness.” When I think of the word journal, I think of place where I can let my creativity flow. I can use it to keep up with what I did today and how I felt, but I use my journal for so much more than that.
- Tracking my finances
- Setting goals
- Keeping a TBR list
- Menu planning
- Favorite quotes or words of inspiration that I have stumbled across
- Tracking my moods
- Tracking menstruation
- Planning for upcoming events
- Social media planner
The list could go on and on. Your journal can be so much more than a record of your memories. Of course, if you are only interested in keeping a classical journal, there is nothing wrong with that. Personally, I prefer to keep a journal that is functional on multiple levels. A journal is a place where I can dump all the junk clouding my brain. It helps me to keep my focus on what is most important in my life.
There is no right way or wrong way to journal. Your journal is personal and you are doing it for you. It doesn’t matter if it is the prettiest thing you have ever created or the ugliest as long as it serves its purpose and adds meaning to your life.
How Often Should Your Write In Your Journal?
You won’t get any real benefit out of keeping a journal if you only use it every few weeks or once a month. If you really reap the fruits of journaling, then you need to use it at a minimum of 2 to 3 times per week. Make journaling a habit. Find a rhythm that works for you. Start small with reasonable and realistic journaling goals and then go from there. Set a reminder on your phones and put aside some quiet time where you can focus without distractions. Journaling is for your mental health. It should not cause you stress but relieve your stress.
Join Me In Journaling Through 2019
I would love for you to journal along with me throughout 2019. For email subscribers, I will send out a monthly journal prompt. If you would like to receive tips, tricks and prompts please click the picture below to subscribe.