Journaling is the simple process of writing down your thoughts and feelings. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your daily focus and mental health. You can work out problems, fears, or frustrations. You can even use it to track your diet and exercise achievements and record your personal health from day to day. There’s no right or wrong way to journal, but here are seven tips to get the most out of your journaling.
- Date your entries. This can help you remember events in your life, plus track mental and physical health progress.
- Do it regularly. Establishing this habit can help keep your mind in the present and improve your happiness.
- Don’t sweat details. Write without editing yourself - even for just 2-3 minutes. It doesn’t matter what you write about or whether you’re using the correct grammar – just let your thoughts flow.
- Tell yourself the truth. You might have to pretend you like baseball to be “in” with your coworkers, but your journal is the place to be honest with yourself.
- Set yourself free. If you want to be creative with your journal – doodling, writing poems or using fancy pens – do so! Or, if it works better for you to simply write a list to get those thoughts off your mind, do that. Don’t allow your journal to become another source of stress.
- Prompt yourself. If you’re having a hard time getting started, do a web search for journaling prompts. Pick one every day and write about it for a set amount of time.
Keep what you write. A journal is a fantastic source for insight into yourself.
- Keep your journals and re-read them from time to time. And try not to judge yourself for your past.
Journal prompts to get your pen moving
- The thing I love most about life is:
- I feel happiest when:
- One thing that would relieve my stress is:
- One health goal I’d like to achieve in the next week/month/year is:
- I’m grateful for:
- Dear Past/Future Me:
- If I could change one thing about my life it would be:
- My favorite childhood memory is:
- This week I learned:
- Write a letter to someone you need to forgive.
- What would I do if I knew I could not fail?
- What am I really good at?
- My first memory is:
- I could not live without:
- The thing I love most about my relationship with __ is: