Journaling is a therapeutic activity that you can do as a hobby, with many benefits towards improving your mentality and mood. By having your thoughts and feelings and goals organized and written down on paper in front of you to see (or to see later), you can prioritize your problems and concerns, and for no one else to see. You can track day-to-day responses towards a negative (or positive) experience that affects your daily activities. You can identify negative thoughts and even whatever is causing your stress and/or anxiety.
Keeping a journal is also akin to just writing down your life in print. Or you could draw or stick pictures in your book. You can record ideas on the go, look through past events, smile at memories, and even improve your writing by doing so!
There are infinite ways to keep a journal and infinite things you can include. Each person will have a different journal, with different preferences and different experiences. Keeping a journal may not be an activity for everyone, but you never know until you try!
Start your journal by writing (or drawing) in it for at least ten to fifteen minutes every day.
Feel free to experiment with different styles and different types of journaling. You can buy a journal, or create your own!
In the gratitude section, write down 3 things you are grateful for and why you are grateful for them. For example, I am grateful for my alarm clock because, without it, I would not be up on time every day.
You can also include a food section to write down your meals for the day. For example, I am grateful to my Iced Coffee from Rocky’s (Brooklyn, NYC) because it tastes amazing and gets me awake enough for me to function during the day :)
*Also feel free to put down a water tracker to make sure you drank enough water!
There are tons of different things you can write about in your journal, whether it be about your dreams, your goals, your plans to aim for, or if it’s about random facts that you learned today, quotes that inspired you, or a certain plant you noticed on your way to get coffee. Write about your day and any special events, any special people you met, any lingering thoughts about a subject, and how you felt at these times.
Some people may be art people rather than words people, so instead of writing down paragraphs or bullet points, they can draw it out. Instead of writing something like “I cut through Central Park on my way to work today,” they can sit down on a bench with breakfast and coffee, and take a little time to sketch out the scenery.
(Picture credit to Veronica Lawlor from Studio 1482 https://www.studio1482.com/artist/veronica/gallery/nyc-skyline-from-central-park/)
Don’t stress too much in the beginning or get overwhelmed with what to write. Just take it easy, take a deep breath, and put your pen to paper. As they say, “it gets easier,” and I personally find it much easier to just keep writing after I’ve started. Feel free to ramble, because who’s going to read it? [No one.] Use your journal as you see fit. It can be private, and you don’t have to share it with anyone, even your closest friends or family.
In a way, journaling is just therapy on paper, and self-therapy at that. Some people find journaling, or even just writing, to be therapeutic. Some people don’t. Maybe writing therapy isn’t for them. That’s okay. There are tons of other ways to keep a positive mentality; you just have to find it!
Many mental health experts recommend journaling because it can improve your mood and mental health overall. It can also be a very fun hobby! Play around with different designs, and have fun!
~ A little author’s note ~
If you’ve read my articles before, you may have noticed I mentioned that to stay focus/motivated, try an activity for 5 minutes. Many times, you may get so into it that you go over those 5 minutes. For journaling, I encourage you to sit down for 15 minutes and just write. Over time, you can save 15 minutes every morning or every night before you go to bed and just write about your day. If you just binged tv shows, write down what you ate, how many cups of water you drank, and a reminder for the next day. Then write about what made your shows good or terrible.
I hope this little speech was at least a little inspirational :)
Feel free to leave comments if you do have a journal!