In my journey to connect with myself on a deeper level, to better understand what I truly desire from this life, and to be mindful of what I’m doing and where I’m going, I’ve repeatedly returned to one topic: journaling. Now, I’ve tried to keep a journal in the past but have always had problems making it a habit. Something about all those blank pages. What am I even supposed to write about? What if I want to doodle instead? How do I add one more to-do to my already packed schedule? Is keeping a journal really that helpful?
Though my progress toward regular journaling has been slow and sporadic at best, I have found it to be helpful. In my usual fashion, I decided to dig and research the topic a bit more and compare my own experiences to those of others. So if you’re struggling with the idea of keeping a journal, like I was, this should help.
Journaling, or more specifically; mindful journaling is the act of expressively examining your thoughts and emotions. Mindful journaling is a meditative practice, a healing practice. It is asking yourself why you feel a certain way, or why you’ve been thinking about a certain thing, and gives you a place to put it. Once it’s out of your head and you’ve had a moment or two to process it, you can find a better understanding. Once your thoughts are on paper, you are freed from them and can let go.
Our minds can be a messy place; overthinking, worrying, stressed-out and anxious. Remembering to-do lists and birthdays, processing events and emotions, reacting to environments and stimuli. Writing it out in a journal can help you find clarity when you’re confused or uncover new solutions to a nagging problem. Journaling provides safe space to feel heard and understood even when you’re having trouble comprehending it all. A place to express your true feelings, to vent your frustrations, and to live in the reality of the moment.Journaling provides safe space to feel heard and understood. Click To Tweet
But How Do I Start?
Get something to write in/on! You don’t need a fancy journal to start, any basic notebook will work just fine. Or perhaps you prefer a digital method, also fine. Don’t worry about what to write. No one else will be reading this. No one is judging you. Journaling is meant to be messy and the best results tend to come from free writing. Jot down some thoughts about your day, or work through a problem that’s been nagging you. If you feel completely at a loss, there are loads of writing prompts to be found on the internet but the key here is to just start writing. With some regularity, the words will begin to flow much more easily.
Once you’ve spent a bit of time expressing your thoughts on paper, you may want to try out some of the variations of journaling to find the type that works best for you. There are bullet journals, art journals, gratitude journals and many others. I may go more in depth on the different kinds in a later post.
In the end, the main point of journaling is to spend some time getting your thoughts out of your head so you can properly assess them and get to know yourself a bit better. Whichever way works best for you, is of course, up to you but you wont know what works best until you try!
Any journal-keepers out there have any other tips for beginners? Share them in the comments below!