For many of us, journaling is one of those things that we know we should be doing to improve our mental and emotional health, but we never quite get around to it. Our friends have touted the benefits of journaling through daily pages , the 5-minute method, and so many other tactics, yet when it comes to picking up the pen it just never feels like the right time.
For those not in practice, journaling can be quite intimidating. By opening the blank pages, we’re asking ourselves to be honest, raw, and completely quiet with our thoughts. However, taking that scary leap of faith to be alone with your feelings through daily journaling reaps so many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing.
While there are so many benefits to daily journaling, here are our top five to give you just a peek at what this practice can do for you:
It goes without saying that the world is highly stress-inducing at the moment. But even without the heaviness of the current crisis, many of us live such fast-paced lives that stress and anxiety can creep in unchecked. Even subliminal stress can cause damage to our nervous, sympathetic, and parasympathetic systems. Daily journaling forces us to work through our underlying emotions head-on. In fact, it has been proven that writing about stressful and/or emotional events just for 15-20 minutes results in improved physical and mental health.
If you’re feeling out of whack or lost in your daily routine, journaling can offer a sense of structure and mental clarity. Choosing to journal at a set time each day provides you something to count on, schedule around, and look forward to. The act of journaling itself brings mental clearness as the act of writing your thoughts down on paper allows you to sort through your emotions and internal monologue. For these two reasons, daily journaling is especially beneficial during these days of social isolation.
Negative experiences and emotions don’t always disappear on their own even if we don’t consciously feel their effects. Oftentimes, daily journaling brings to light unresolved emotions and trauma. Once these emotions are brought to the surface, the process of writing them onto paper allows you to fully release them and let them go. If you find yourself processing through some particularly heavy feelings through journaling that you would truly like to liberate yourself from, burning your pages once you finish can be extremely cathartic and freeing.
Now more than ever, people are struggling to disconnect from work at the end of the day. Without the separation of work from home, it is very difficult to access our creativity outside of “working hours”. Journaling at the start or end of your workday can help signal to your brain that it is time to shift into the other sides of yourself. There are so many incredible guided journaling prompts online that can help spark your inner artist. Try them out or just start writing and see where your mind takes you!
When trying to implement a new goal or practice into your life, daily journaling allows you to be your own accountability partner. For example, maybe you want to start tracking the moon cycle. Your daily journal provides you both an actionable reminder and a space to track the moon and its effects on you. If you want to start intentionally spending more time in nature, a daily journal can be a space where you record your outdoor observations and experiences. Overall, daily journaling is a great way to hold yourself responsible while implementing new habits.
The best part about daily journaling is that it is a space where you can be you in whatever way feels best. You can utilize gratitude lists to improve your mood, use it as a habit tracker, follow guided prompts to work through old hurts, whatever feels right to you! Generally, the best way to stay consistent with your journaling is to do it at the same time each day. But again, your journal exists for you and you alone, so follow whatever schedule feels right.
*Soothing beverages, calming music, and energy-encouraging crystals are great ways to further customize your daily journaling practice.
After that, the rest is up to you! Do you already practice daily journaling? If yes, how has it positively impacted your life?