Journaling has long been known to have cathartic and relaxing benefits. It serves as a vehicle for us to convey our anxieties, hopes, and joys. It has the potential to assist us in making sense of the world and our role within it.
Dr. Ira Progof, a student of Carl Jung and a well-known American psychologist, is credited for popularizing journaling as a treatment method. After noticing that patients who kept diaries worked through their issues faster and better, he created the Intense Journaling approach in the 1960s. It provided structure to writing and a way to assimilate insights for personal and spiritual growth.
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Journaling may help you break free from a negative thinking loop and rumination, which are counterproductive to your progress and can exacerbate anxiety and despair. It can also provide much-needed perspective on difficult situations.
One of the most appealing aspects of journaling is that there is no “wrong” way to go about it. You can even have a good time while journaling. Journaling is all about emptying the stuff that’s been swirling around in your thoughts and then walking away from it. You have less to carry around mentally if you externalize your ideas and feelings through journaling. Your mind will be grateful. Journaling also allows you to look back and observe how much you’ve changed, both emotionally and spiritually.
Expressive Writing / Consciousness Journaling
Stream of consciousness writing can help us get our feelings and thoughts out of our brain and onto paper. This not only frees up the mental capacity to think about other things, but it also often leads to fresh insights and epiphanies that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Your comments don’t have to be poetic; they just have to be honest and devoid of judgment. These are your pages, so breathe and let go anytime you feel compelled to censor and self-edit your ideas and feelings. When you write without inhibition, you will have a successful journaling practice. Make it your beautiful jumble, and write only for your eyes. It isn’t necessary to polish it.
Simply sit down for 10 minutes and write whatever comes to mind to attempt stream-of-consciousness journaling. The trick is to put your opinion on what you’re writing on the back burner as much as possible at this period. There is no such thing as a dull, contentious, strange, or illogical idea; if you have one, write it down. It’s all about following your thoughts and seeing where they lead you. You may be amazed by what comes out if you let them flow without interrupting them.
Journal Three Good Things
Even if every day feels essentially the same, writing three nice things can help you develop significant memories. It’s helped me capture special moments like walks outside, and minor details that have added a ray of sunshine to an otherwise dreary and dismal period. What we pay attention to counts, and amid terrible news and uncertainty, I’ve personally found it beneficial to focus on the times I value.
“Have Done” List
If you enjoy being out in the world and miss getting out, doing activities, and meeting new people, or if you have huge plans and aspirations, this book is for you. This method is beneficial.
Keeping a “to do” list serves as a reminder that we are still alive. We can still make progress (even if it’s tiny) and accomplish things that will improve our lives.
Maintain Gratitude Journal
Giving appreciation is beneficial to one’s mental health. Begin by writing down three things for which you are thankful. Some people stick to a once-daily “write five things I’m thankful for” routine, while others write in the morning and evening. It’s completely OK either method you use. The goal isn’t to diminish the difficulties you’re facing, but to let your brain refocus for a few moments.
These can be simple pleasures such as a stroll around the park, a wonderful cup of coffee, or pleasant weather. Make a list or compose whole sentences. Details may assist you in reliving the highlights of your day. How did the warmth of the sun feel on your skin? What emotions did the aroma of coffee evoke?
Make a list of persons who inspire you and write about them. They might be people you know or people you’ve never met but who have assisted you in becoming a better person. This differs from “unsent letter” journaling (described below) in that it focuses on the future rather than the past. To put it another way, you’re writing to the individuals who are assisting you in becoming the person you want to be. These are the ones who help you reach new heights.
Bullet journaling, often known as BuJo, is a trend that’s sweeping the internet. This is a collection of notes, to-do lists, reminders, and doodles that combines mindfulness with creativity.
Learn about Bullet Journaling here.
It’s not only a super-organized way to journal; it’s also good for your mental and emotional health. Bullet journaling, according to Lara J. Jakobsons, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at NorthShore University Healthcare System in Evanston, Illinois, is a unique method to practice mindfulness. A dotted notebook may help you better understand your feelings and behaviors, learn how to cope with worry, and detect stressors. It can also aid in the solution of problems.
When your world seems to be in disarray, keeping a diary might help you bring order to it. By expressing your deepest fears, thoughts, and feelings, you gain a better understanding of yourself. Consider your writing time as a kind of personal relaxation. It’s a chance for you to relax and unwind. Write in a calm and pleasant environment, perhaps with a cup of tea nearby. Take pleasure in your journaling time.