How to Get Started With Journaling

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How to Get Started With Journaling






Journaling improves our health mentally, emotionally, and physically. For those with even a little exposure to journaling, this comes as no surprise. Journaling is a great way to express pent up emotions and deal with problems (past, present, and future). If you've never kept a journal before, it's easy to get started.

Step One: Pick the Method that Works for You

You may not know what that is yet, but don't let that stop you. There's no harm in trying out different techniques; this is what it is meant for after all. Start by picking a method that feels appealing. Do you want to buy a journal? Do you want to keep it simple with a spiral notebook?

What about online journaling (such as Blogger or LiveJournal)? You could even open a blank document on your computer and start there. What you write on doesn't matter as much as the fact that you're writing, so don't get too hung up on this step. Just pick a method and go.

Step Two: Just Write

It doesn't have to be grammatically correct. You don't need to worry about spelling. Most importantly, you don't need to worry about impressing anyone or shocking anyone. This is your private journal, just for you, so you can say anything you want. In fact, that's the key. Express yourself openly and honestly. Just write! It's amazing how something so simple can make such a huge difference in your life.

Step Three: Be Consistent

You don't have to write every day, unless you want to. But if you're only pulling your journal out once every four months, you're not going to see the same benefits to your emotional health. Try writing several times a week, even if it's short. Studies show regular journaling reduces stress and anxiety. Who couldn't use less stress and anxiety?

Step Four: Be Open to Alternatives

There's no right way to keep a journal. Some people keep multiple journals. You might find you need an anger journal, or a grief journal. You might want journals for things that interest you, such as a nature journal, travel journal, or artist's journal. Be free to express yourself in ways that make sense to you.

You might want to add drawings to your journal. These don't have to be artistic; even stick figures and other simple drawings, combined with words if that appeals to you, can be a great way of expressing a thought or emotion. What about making a collage, drawing a mandala, or creating lists? If it feels right to you, then it is right.

These are easy steps to benefiting from the long-established tradition of journaling. If you've never tried it before, there's no better time than now. You won't regret it, and your heart will thank you.
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