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Journaling is such a great way to work out what things are going on in your life, and in your mind. It’s something that I recommend everyone do because it can transform your mental health!
Journaling has definitely helped me improve my mental health and it has a lot of great benefits, so let’s talk about it!
What are the benefits of journaling?
First I want to talk a little bit about my personal experience with journaling and the benefits I see from it.
Lately, I’ve been going on this journey of self-help journey. Trying to heal, figuring out my triggers, bettering my mental health, and all that.
And because of this self-discovery journey, I’ve been journaling a bit differently.
I read a lot of self-help books, and when I find myself unlocking a part that I didn’t know existed- a trigger, a childhood wound, a limiting belief, or something like that, I journal about it and can work through it.
Understand yourself better
So journaling for me is a great way to understand the inner workings of your mind. We do so much throughout the day, we rarely stop to actually think our thoughts.
We may have a thought on our mind, but then we pass it right by because we need to scroll through social media to distract us, a chore needs to be done, dinner needs to be cooked, etc…
We have so much going on that distracts us, and journaling forces you to slow down and think through your thoughts.
Helpful for venting your feelings
It can also be a great way to vent your feelings.
I used to use my journal all the time to complain about dumb or hurtful situations in my life.
So if you feel like you have no one in your life that will listen to you, or no one that you can trust to talk through your feelings with, journaling is a great second option.
And there really is no wrong way to journal. Maybe the only way you can go “wrong” is by censoring yourself.
If you’re like me, you may be very closed off or feel the need to censor yourself or your feelings around people out of fear of judgment or rejection but the great thing about journaling is no one is going to read it.
All of your thoughts and words are yours and yours alone.
So don’t censor yourself out of fear or anything like that because you won’t be doing yourself any favors!
But, you can just start by journaling about your day. You don’t need to journal super deeply each and every time. Or you can keep track of goals, manifestations, and more.
And you don’t need to write a lot either! I usually write at least a page in my small journal, something like this right here.
Where to start when journaling as a beginner
Journaling is super easy to get started with! It’s not something that you need to overthink. You can just grab a journal and start writing about your day, thinking about your goals, or scripting out your future manifestations.
For the best results though, you want to be more intentional when you journal.
I use to pretty much exclusively use my journal to complain about when I had a hard day or something didn’t go exactly as planned.
But that just led me to feel worse, not better, as I over-analyzed situations I should have just forgotten about.
Don’t get me wrong, venting about your feelings is good and valid- especially if you have no one else to listen to you.
But here are a few tips to make journaling more impactful for you!
Use journal prompts
If you’re new to journaling and don’t know where to start, or if you’d like some guidance and thought-provoking questions, journal prompts are the perfect solution!
Journal prompts can be helpful if you know you have things you need to work through, but don’t even know what questions to ask yourself.
Or, if you’re stuck on what the next thing you should write about is. They made lead you to thoughts/emotions you didn’t know about!
Journal prompts can help you think deeper about yourself, lead you to discover more, and write about things you may otherwise not have thought about!
If you want a good place to get started, I recommend these 95 journal prompts for your mental health.
This is a journal prompt/workbook combo I’ve got in my Etsy shop!
There are 95 thought-provoking questions to help you get started in figuring yourself out, and I also added a bonus workbook for goals and different things like that! Check it out right here!
Find a notebook to specifically be your journal
It’s also a good idea to get a notebook specifically as your journal. You don’t want to be journaling in a million different notebooks.
This is going to make it hard to look back on your growth journey and see how far you’ve come!
One of the best parts of journaling is being able to look back at things you wrote in the past.
You can really see mindset shifts, remind yourself of how far you’ve come, manifestations that came to life, and situations you overcame that at the time you thought you wouldn’t!
I personally like to pick out a journal that inspires me to actually write. So it normally has a nice design on it like this one.
Find a journaling routine that works for you
I don’t think you to write in your journal every day.
I know some people like to tell you to journal every morning when you first wake up, no matter what.
And while that may be helpful for some people, others like me don’t want to feel forced to journal. Like it’s some project or assignment you need to get done.
So instead, get into a routine that works for you. Just let it flow.
I only write when I feel like it, which usually happens to be at night. Sometimes I journal for a few days in a row, and sometimes I miss a few days.
You don’t have to force yourself to write if you have nothing to say.
However, in the beginning, if you’re very new to journaling and this is uncomfortable for you, maybe an everyday thing can help.
If you need to get into the habit of journaling or get comfortable doing it, maybe an everyday routine works for you.
There really is no wrong way to do this, as long as it works for you!
Pair journaling with other self-help methods
I personally noticed that journaling really started to help my mental health when I started reading self-help books and discovering limiting beliefs and childhood trauma or blocks that I’ve had.
When I was just using my journal to complain about my day, there was no positive benefit from it. Re-living hurtful situations just made me feel worse at the end of the day, not better.
So letting go of those moments, or not letting them get to me as much and instead using my journal for growth and healing really put me in a better overall mood.
So if you’re on a self-help and healing journey, reading personal development books can be a great thing to pair with journaling!
A lot of the books I’ve read have journal prompts in them to help you get the most out of the book. Or meditations as well which encourage you to journal afterward.
A few of my personal favorites were “You are a Badass” By Jen Sencero and a few Gabrielle Bernstein books like “The Universe has your Back”.
If you want to get the most out of journaling, I recommend picking up a few of those books from Amazon!
Or if you’re interested in any other habits you should pick up in your 20s, check out this post right here!