Keeping a diary is definitely not unheard of amongst our generation. Even if not many people engage in keeping a diary anymore, many people do still write about their feelings, although it becomes a little less private, as most of it is done online nowadays. But journalling has benefits that you may not have realised before; It’s a great mood-uplifter, and also helps reduce stress and anxiety. Journalling can be a great hobby for the new year! Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Choose your type of journaling
This needs to be the first step because it helps you decide what type of journal you want to purchase. There are various types of journalling; dream journals, gratitude journals, art journals; it’s important to know what you want before you purchase the physical journal. When choosing your journal, look for one that speaks to you and sparks joy in your heart, or, if you’re the artsy type, opt for the plainest one so you can spice it up however you like.
You’re going to be expressing your life’s worth through this journal, so make sure it looks like a representation of you. The first thing you should write in it upon purchasing your journal is your name and address; you’ll probably be travelling with your journal in hand, so if you ever leave it around, maybe a kind soul will return it to you.
Set an intention
Once you have your brand new journal in hand, you need to set an intention. When we began our gratitude journal, our intention was to feel better about everyday life through journalling. Yours may be to find inspiration or a new idea or gain some new clarity or insight about a certain area of your life. Take some time to think about what you intend to gain through this new found hobby, and focus all that positivity into your journal.
What to write
The sky’s the limit! That’s the beauty of a journal; there are no rules; there’s no script you have to stick to, there’s no right or wrong; anything goes. You can literally write down a word-for-word conversation or something that you want to remember and break it down from there. Use your journal to look at it from all sides and see what you felt was really going on; what you said and what you didn’t; what you wished you did; how you interpreted a conversation; and how it’ll help you grow as a person. Even if you want to just complain about it for pages, go for it! The negativity that we sometimes carry with us needs to go somewhere, and if it’s going to go anywhere, dump it in the page before you dump it on people that you love and hurt them inevitably.
You can use your journal to be as sappy or petty as you want without being embarrassed about it; love letters or letters to people that you just want to thank? Put it in the journal. Having some kind of conflict with someone? Address it in the journal. It really helps you sort out your feelings and clear your head.
We’ve all had very vivid dreams that seem like the plot of an Oscar-worthy romantic comedy, right? So write these down, put in a little sketch next to it too, if you’re feeling creative, and who knows – maybe you’ll accidentally leave your dream journal lying around and it’ll get picked up by a movie scriptwriter!
Pick a day in time to set aside to write or draw in your journal. The hardest part is sometimes taking that first step; just putting pen to paper may be a daunting task to some. It shouldn’t be; if you are plagued with negativity, it defeats the cause of journalling; it’s meant to be something to help you feel relieved, something you look forward to. Don’t let yourself start thinking, “I’m too busy, I’m too tired”. Hold yourself accountable by choosing a day and scheduling it into your planner. Figure out which time of day you enjoy journalling the most – whether that is before you go to bed, or early in the morning when you wake up, or even on your lunch break – that way you’ll have formed a healthy new habit that you’ll be thankful for in the long run!