Are all your lockdown days blurring into one and everyday seems to bleed into the next? We have the solution: journaling. It is a common misconception that journaling is for children to write about their adventures in the playground. Many accomplished people have used journaling to better themselves and what they practise. From the likes of Oscar Wilde, Henry David Thoreau, Ben Franklin to Queen Victoria! Journaling is a written record of your thoughts and feelings and usually is a daily exercise.

Why Should I Journal?

As I mentioned before, journaling can be a good way to break up and distinguish each day from the next in lockdown. It can be a great way to practise mindfulness and reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have shown the positive impacts from journaling on mental and physical health.

It allows you to observe your life from a different perspective as you will be able to track patterns, improvements and changes in you life over time. Once you adjust to writing down your feelings and thoughts you may start to notice an improvement in the way you communicate with others. Now, let’s go through some tips on how to get to grips with journaling.

How To Journal

There are many different approaches to journaling but here are a few for you to experiment with and see what works best for you. Journalers usually write at the start or the end of the day depending on their approach. To start, get yourself a pretty notebook as you won’t be able to resist writing in it!

Approach 1 – The Brain Dump

The brain dump is the easiest way for a beginner to get into journaling because there is no structure. Set a timer for 10 to 20 minutes and write down whatever thoughts or feelings that pop into your head, whether they make sense or not. There are no rules, just scribble everything down onto your notebook and get it off your chest.

If you find it hard to start writing here are some prompts to kick-start your journaling:

  • What am I thinking about?
  • What are your intentions for the day?
  • What is a problem you are struggling with and how can you overcome it?
  • Any questions you have
  • What are you looking forward to?
  • Exciting adventures from your past
  • Something that you regret

Approach 2 – Set of Three

This approach is where you have a set list of prompts that you write 3 answers for each day.

You are free to any prompts that you feel would be helpful for you but here are my personal favourites:

  • 3 positive affirmations*
  • 3 things I am grateful for
  • 3 things I am holding onto
  • 3 things I am doing to let those go
  • 3 things which are stressing me out
  • 3 things I am doing to work those out

*Affirmations are positive statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. The act of repeating them will start to make you believe in them and encourage positive changes in your life.

Let go of your problems and let your journal hold them for you. Let us know about your journaling experiences over on our Instagram (@loveyourselfhq)!

By Pooja Depala

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