You want to start journaling. You crave the peace of mind that comes with it or need a way to let go of stress. But you don’t know where to start.
No worries. In this post, we’ll break down how to start journaling in four beginner-friendly steps.
What is Journaling?
The word “journaling” brings to mind long handwritten pages of deep thoughts or a daily record of your activities. But journaling can be so much more than either of those.
It is recording your thoughts. But this can take the form of goals, stream of consciousness, gratitude, and more. Journaling is a way to slow down and look inside. That’s why it’s a great habit to develop.
Journaling has several great benefits, including:
•Better mental health. Journaling can help release negative emotions or process what’s happening in your life.
•Life record. Journals are time capsules. In years to come, you’ll be able to look back and see what you were doing and thinking.
•Clarity. It might not come at first, but the habit of journaling can give you better insight into your life. You’ll learn to recognize your patterns, why you think the way you do, and more.
How to Start Journaling
1. Pick a Method
There’s no right or wrong way to journal. Write by hand with a pen in a nice notebook. Scribble thoughts with a pencil on a memo pad. You can type on your laptop or use your phone’s note app.
Pick a method you’ll be able to maintain. If you get hand cramps after two minutes of writing, a digital method might be better. If you can’t go on your phone without getting distracted, paper and pencils are your friends.
2. Set Aside Time
Another important part of journaling is taking time to write, hopefully daily. It doesn’t have to be much time either. A few minutes is perfect to start. As you create a habit, you’ll start craving your daily writing time.
Be mindful of when you set aside time to write too. If you can’t think before your coffee, writing in the early morning might not be the best choice for you. Chose a time of day that makes it easy to sit down and journal.
3. Remove Pressure
Turn off your inner critic and write. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Screw complete sentences. Write whatever comes into your head.
Take inspiration from others, but don’t let them dictate your practice. Experiment, do what feels right, and you’ll find what works best for you. That’s how you’ll see results.
4. Try Prompts
If you’re having trouble getting started, look for journal prompts. Google and Pinterest are full of them. These can get your brain firing and dig deeper into your psyche.
You can also try writing one line a day, two things you’re grateful for, or setting a timer for five minutes and writing about anything. Yes, literally anything that comes to mind. Use them to journal or as a warm-up.
Journaling is a great habit to start and takes very little time or effort. Start this new season off strong by trying it out.