How To Begin Journaling: 8 Tips To Get Started and Why
By Pamela Schwarz
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read.” – Oscar Wilde
There is more to journaling than great reading… journaling is good for your health.
Why Keep A Journal?
Remember that diary you protected with your life as a child? It had a little lock that could easily be broken into but made you feel like it would safely hold all of your secrets. It was a safe place to write everything down, a place to dream, to vent and at times it was your best friend. Oh, the joys of being a child!
As an adult, you can still experience the joy of a special place to hold your secrets and dreams… it’s called journaling. Your life is an amazing journey and worthy of remembering, even the smallest details. Document milestones, things that bring you joy, things that make you sad and anything else that is significant at the moment you feel compelled to write.
Journaling is much more than a place to hold ideas and experiences. Journaling provides you many health benefits… YES, it’s healthy to journal!
Some Health Benefits of Journaling
- Reduces Anxiety
- Reduces Stress
- Manages Depression
- Boosts the Immune System
- Manages the Effects of Trauma and Illness
Journaling can help you deal with trauma and illness by boosting the immune system and providing an outlet for negative feelings. Writing down your feelings about a trauma or illness will inspire you to let go of negative emotional attachment. Getting angry on paper can be a liberating experience that can kickstart the healing process. Letting it all out through words releases the clutter in your mind and allows you to focus on getting well.
Your journal can inspire positive changes in your mindset and improve your overall health as a result. The pen and paper are powerful tools in making positive change happen because they embrace the energy that flows through you.
The HOW of Journaling
You hear the word journal, fear sets in and you whisper “I can’t.”
I have good news for you though…you CAN and here’s how.
8 Tips To Get You Started
1. Pick a journal that you love. It can be as basic as a notebook or elegant as a leather bound journal. Pick something that fits YOU and your style. Check out Amazon.com for some great ideas and great prices!
2. Pick a pen that feels good in your hand and writes smooth. You want a comfortable tool that flows well without leaving ink on your hands.
3. Grab a package of colored pens or calligraphy pens to make your writing bright and cheery. I enjoy doodling in my journals and these come in handy on those days.
4. Begin by writing 1 word on the page… whatever pops into your mind. Sometimes that’s all that will happen, but other times it will open the floodgates of creativity.
5. Forget about grammar and punctuation. All those rules you learned in school go out the window when it comes to your journal. Let things flow, create run-on sentences, forget about commas and all that other stuff and just WRITE.
6. My favorite: MAKE LISTS! List the things you want to accomplish, the things you need to accomplish, reasons you are grateful… be creative and just start jotting down lists.
7. Remember: This journal is for YOU. Feel free to be as personal as you want to when writing. Better OUT than IN is a good way to look at it.
8. This is the MOST IMPORTANT tip of all: Have fun with your journal! Doodle a little bit, write your craziest ideas and dreams in it, make it yours.
Not so scary anymore! Now you give it a try. You will see that journaling can make you feel light, happy and healthy.
Feel free to share your adventure in the comments below and Happy Journaling!
Pamela Schwarz is a New York State Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Practitioner in Upstate New York. Working with clients to achieve wellness that comes from within is the main focus of her work. She believes in the power of positive thoughts and following your dreams to create the life you were meant to live.
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