This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.
I’ve always kept some sort of journal or diary, for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, my journals were mainly used for talking about what happened each day or letting off steam when something upset me.
But lately, I’ve been getting more and more into different types of journals and I’m loving them. And I want to talk to you about it!
Journaling can cover a wide range of styles and techniques – especially with how much bullet journaling has been gaining popularity. One thing that all types of journals have in common, though, is that they’re really good for improving many different areas of your life!
I prefer my bullet journal, but it doesn’t really matter what kind you do. Journaling, in general, has so many great benefits for our mental health and personal growth!
Today I thought I’d talk about why it’s such a great idea to keep a journal, how to get started, and what to write about!
Why should you start a journal?
Everyone says that journaling is great for our mental health, our mood, organization, goals, and much more. Here are many of the benefits of keeping a journal:
- It can help you process your thoughts and emotions.
- It can help you feel calmer and more at peace.
- It can help you work through problems.
- It can help you become more creative.
- It can help you become more mindful.
- It can help you achieve your goals.
- It can help you get to know yourself better.
- It can help you become more confident.
- It can help you become a better writer.
- It can help you stay organized.
- It can greatly reduce your stress levels.
- It can help improve your memory.
- It can help you capture and keep track of ideas.
- It can help you practice gratitude.
- It can improve your mental health.
- It can help you stay motivated.
- It increases your self-care and self-love.
- Probably much more!
How can you start a journal?
A lot of people just don’t know where to start when it comes to journaling. What kind of journal should I use? What should I write about? When should I write? So…
- Consider the type of journal that you’d like to keep.
There are many formats that you can use for your journal. If you prefer a digital journal, there are apps you can use. Or you can keep it on your computer. If you prefer a pen and paper journal, you can go with a classic journal, a bullet journal, or a sketchbook. You could also just use a plain notebook. Some people even narrow down their focus to Bible journaling, gratitude journaling, “interactive” journals, and probably more things that I don’t know about, LOL. Figure out what you wanna do and what works for you!
(Side note: you could also use a lined journal or sketchbook as a bullet journal.)
- What should I write about?
A lot of people just do “steam of consciousness” writing in their journal. They just free write about whatever is on their mind and keep going until they’re done. Some people time themselves too. That’s a great way to clear your mind and let go of your emotions. I don’t usually do this unless I’m feeling particularly scatter-brained. 😉
Other people dedicate certain days to certain topics – such as relationships, career, health, etc. and just write about whatever is going on in that particular area of their life at the time. That’s another great idea if you’re stuck for topics to write about, but I don’t do this either.
I actually use my journal to make lists, drawings, plans, and other random things. I also use it to re-evaluate my goals, do braindumps, and brainstorm about things. This is great for my creativity, self-improvement, relaxation, mental health – lots of things.
It all really depends on what works for you. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to use a journal. It’s supposed to be personal, after all. You could just do a combination of everything. It doesn’t have to be deep or profound writing. My system is to just do whatever I feel like I want to do that day. I feel like that’s the best technique!
- How do I make journaling a habit?
If you want that long list of benefits from journaling, you can’t just write in your journal once every 6 months. You’ve gotta make it a habit! Something that you do every day (or at least every week) without worrying about forgetting.
To start things out, try to write in your journal at least 2-3 times a week, for about 15-20 minutes a day. Start small, set journal writing goals that are realistic for you, and pretty soon you’ll have a habit.
Also, pick a certain time of day to do it. First thing in the morning might be best so you can get it done with instead of worrying about forgetting or squeezing it in later in the day. Also, add it to your daily to-do list or set a reminder on your phone to help you remember.
If you keep at it, it’ll become a habit for you soon enough!
A few other tips
- Try out different types of journaling to figure out what’s right for you.
- If you can, keep it with you because you never know when inspiration will strike.
- Block out distractions so you have peace of mind when you’re writing.
- If you want to get more creative and make your journal prettier, buy journaling supplies like washi tape, stickers, good pens, and other fun things.
- Don’t worry about doing it the “right way” or doing it perfectly; remember it’s for you, no one else.
- Just do it – that’s the best way to get anything done!
I’ve made a list of 50 journaling prompts to help you create a journaling habit + figure out to write about when you’re feeling stuck! Just enter your email below to access it. 🙂
Do you keep a journal? If not, do you want to start one?