5 Brilliant Ways to Journal – Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is a great practice to add to your daily routine, as it cultivates creativity, improves mental health, and deepens self-discovery. Journaling has many techniques, making it accessible to anyone of any age.

person journaling
All you need is pen and paper to journal – source

Keep reading to discover the benefits of journaling, the different ways to journal, and much more today! By learning to make it a part of your daily routine you can develop great self-care habits that improve overall wellbeing.

Why Journal

First of all, if you make journaling a habit, it becomes part of your routine and there are great benefits to having a daily routine. Journals allow you to process thoughts, declutter the mind, explore ideas freely, express yourself, and save ideas.

Having a space to just write down anything, maybe even things you’d never say out loud is important. Plus, journaling creates a space for yourself. Just having time to think about yourself is very beneficial to mental health.

Benefits of Journaling

Journaling can reduce stress, improve emotional processing, and increase self-awareness. Depending on how you journal, you can plan out future moves, process experiences of the past, or deal with present situations.

Journaling also helps to increase perspective by creating space for thoughts to be written down. When you write down worries or negative thoughts, you create distance which can help detach yourself from the negativity.

If you want stress relief, focus on journaling gratitudes, desires, wishes, or positive affirmations. A review study found that participants reported improved mood, lower blood pressure, less stress, and greater overall wellbeing.

5 Ways to Journal

Here are 5 ways to journal. These techniques can help you get started easily and quickly. Plus, the best part of all, you just need some paper and a pen to get started, making it accessible to almost everyone.

1. Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling is focused on organizing the day and thoughts in a productive, beneficial way. The person that coined bullet journaling, Ryder Carrol, claims it is “best described as a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system.”

Bullet journaling is about jotting down what needs to be done for the day and why. You can add different elements to a journal page, like a mood tracker, what you eat, a space for daily reflection, etc.  

2. Free Write

Free writing is the essence of journaling. It is putting down whatever thoughts that come to mind onto a page. With free writing, you don’t have to worry about doing it right or wrong, you don’t have to plan things, or think of ideas. There is no structure, prompt, or goal. All you need to do is sit and write. 

It allows you to be creative but has no organization, so reading it back might also be chaotic.

This works best for those that need to get all their thoughts out onto a page. This might not work for people that want a goal, prompt, or structure, as a blank page can be intimidating.

3. Morning Pages

Morning pages is a journaling technique defined by Julia Cameron in the book The Artist’s Way. It helps clear the mind, enhances creativity and builds confidence.

The morning pages technique is writing 3 pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. Cameron states that it is a good way to get away from internalized negativity and censorship, allowing you to comfort, prioritize, and clarify thoughts. Longhand simply means you use pen and paper (physically writing as opposed to on technology) and stream of consciousness writing is your internal monologue of thoughts.

Morning pages can help artists or writers, especially those dealing with creative blocks, though anyone can use them.

4. 5 Year Journal

A 5 year journal can be bought, though a regular journal can be turned into a 5 year journal. In a 5 year journal, you have 5 space entries for every day. An easy way to make a 5 year journal is to get a regular journal with at least 365 pages and divide each page into a date with 5 spaces for 5 different entries. 

To start on January 1st (or any date you begin on), you make one entry, then on January 2nd, 3rd, and so on. You leave space for 5 entries on a date, so after finishing a year, you go back and make your next entry on January 1st.

This method simply creates a limited space for the daily entries for every day meaning you only have to write a couple of sentences daily. 

This is great for people just starting and wanting to make journaling a daily habit. Some may find the limited space confining if they enjoy writing longer entries though.

5. Commonplace Book

This is also a great way for people to get started journaling. It essentially is a place to collect book quotes, phrases you hear, or anything you want to remember. It can be song lyrics, parts of conversations, tv show quotes, or anything of that nature.

A nice option is to have a commonplace book and a journal to write down and expand on the phrases in your commonplace book. This is always for deep self-reflection, perspective analysis, and creativity. If you want, however, combine these and make a space in your commonplace book for deeper thoughts about your quotes.

The Takeaway

Journaling is an amazing practice that has a lot of benefits that anyone can get. It helps reduce stress, increase creativity, and process thoughts.

There are many ways to journal including free writing, 5 year journaling, and commonplace style. Choose any way to journal that you enjoy the most, or try out a couple and keep the ones that help you out the most. Either way, appreciate the health benefits, both physical and mental, that it provides!

Health tends to start from within, therefore you should give your body nutritious building blocks to help it improve and thrive. Eat well, practice self-care, manage stress, sleep enough, and watch how wellness flourishes. Fitness encompasses mental, physical, and emotional aspects to improve quality of life.

Remember gut health too! The gut microbiome affects muscle growth, immune system health, skin health, mental wellness, energy levels, and metabolism, so we should improve it whenever possible. This is done by eating the right foods and knowing what to avoid. Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here!

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