There are so many benefits in keeping a journal. Journaling can help us start each day by emptying the clutter from our mind. It can even help us to organize our thoughts and motivate us to accomplishment tasks. Journaling gives us a sense of creativity. It’s a feel-good exercise for the brain.
Journaling can help us to relax and alleviate stress. It can reinforce positive affirmations or rid ourselves of negativity. We can use it as self-time to sit quietly with a cup of coffee or tea in a comfortable place in our home or office.
A journal can consist of a small simple notebook, sheets of paper fastened together or even a book filled with blank or lined pages. It can contain as little as one to three sentences. It can be a random thought to release a negative thought or conduce a positive start to our day.
Today bullet journals are popular. There are even blogs on bullet journals. They can help organize thoughts, schedules or subjects such as traveling ideas, raising a child, setting goals, etc.
I once did a project for a support group. We decorated the front and back cover of a composition book, with cut-out magazine pictures pasted as a collage. When they were completed, we shellacked the cover with a coat of Mod Podge to keep the pictures in place, leaving them with clean edges.
I also created a personal goal journal in a folder I filled with plain white paper and fasteners. I pulled pictures of things I wanted to accomplish with titled pages. I included Bible verses and quotes, typed up dreams and ideas for my future. I even checked off the goals I achieved over the years.
There are many types of Journals:
The sky is the limit when it comes to journaling. They can be made out of just about anything and consist of endless ideas.
I keep a daily journal of letters written to God as a prayer. It is my prayer journal. Sometimes they are half a page or several pages long. They include a date at the top of the page, thoughts I might have that morning, sometimes negative, sometimes positive. They usually include a request and a praise to God for an answered prayer. Sometimes I even vent out my frustrations or anger I might be struggling with. My favorite journals have soft embossed covers, some with a band that snaps the book closed. I have a collection of completed journals I keep on my bookshelf.
My daughter Emily is an avid journaler. Emily keeps several journals and uses them often. Some might be simple while others are more extravagant. They are usually very organized, written out in neat colorful pens that may have different color coordinations. She likes Moleskine journals which are usually a little more costly.
Here is what Emily has to say:
I have three notebooks I use constantly. One is my Jot Book, where I quickly throw things that I don’t want to forget. I also have my daily Bullet Journal, where I write down anything I need to do for the day. And lastly, I have my journal which is more like a Traditional Diary.
This is for quick notes and scribbles. If someone recommends a tv show I can quickly pull this out and write it down. Nothing too emotional here. Just notes.
This is the core of my existence. The bullet journal is my life saver and is a very therapeutic process for me. I use it for my work life and my home life. During the first 10 minutes of work I write down a bulleted list of everything I need to do that day. I often get overwhelmed about how much I have to do in a day, and when I don't write it down I easily forget things. Writing it down and putting it into a list, helps me to manage stress and anxiety. Every time I complete a task, I get to cross it off and I get a great sense of accomplishment even from doing just one task.
On a normal day my bullet list might contain larger tasks such as, “complete X files and send to boss for review.” But on a bad day where I feel emotionally and mentally drained, I might write down smaller tasks like “take out the trash,” “get shower,” “feed the cat,” because I need the motivation just to get out of bed and do something. On those days, being able to complete just one task makes me feel good.
In my Traditional Diary, I write about the good and the bad in life. A huge part of my anxiety involves focusing on bad situations and over analyzing. Writing them down is the only way I can get them out of my head and move on with my day. So, I’ll write all of my bad thoughts down, close the book, and try to let the conflict end in my head.
My journals are very personal, so even though I put a lot of work into them and make them pretty, I choose not to share them with others.
The Perfect Fit
While Emily has the perfect fit and style for her, everyone has different styles and preferences. The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing a book style and the way in which you write in it. It can include pictures, drawings, labels, you name it. Have fun and create your journal today. Experiment. Find what works for you.
Here is a website that discusses the general journaling methods: