Two Easy But Powerful Ways To Start Journaling

Journal and pen

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Bullet journaling is my secret weapon to staying organised. If you don’t know what a Bullet journal is read this post ‘Why you NEED a bullet journal’

Journaling is an incredible form of self-care It helps reduce stress and clarify thoughts and feelings. Jasmin Terrany, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, sums it up best: “When you write, you are pausing your life from all other activities and taking the time to look within. It can be a very powerful tool to help you understand what is going on inside you.” So take some time and learn a bit more about journaling and dive in to learn more about yourself.

The Benefits Of Journaling

A study showed that expressive writing (like journaling) for only 15 to 20 minutes a day three to five times over the course of a four-month period was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality. It is also believed to strengthen your immune system. Not only does it help your health it also helps your emotions. Below is a list of some of the most important benefits that journaling gives you.

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased self-awareness 
  • More gratitude and appreciation for the little things
  • Clarity and focus
  • Better mental health
  • Increased mindfulness
  • More likely to set, chase and achieve goals
  • Strengthened willpower
  • Boosts confidence
  • Improves your mood
  • Decreases the likes of stress and overwhelm
  • Journaling can also lead to new ideas forming, creativity and inspiration in general.

One of the most important benefits, I believe, is increased self-awareness. When we are more aware of our thoughts and emotions we can function better. Self-awareness leads us to enriched emotional intelligence and greater empathy and listening skills. When we are aware of what we are feeling and why, we can better regulate our emotions, leading to a more meaningful life.

How To Start

So it’s agreed that journaling helps you physically and mentally, but how do you do it? I will walk you through two different ways of journaling. It is best done regularly, your regular is up to you though, whether its daily, weekly or monthly. I find that journaling morning and evening works well for me. I’ve usually got a lot going on in my head in the morning, so journaling then gets it down on paper to be able to sort through it. Journaling at night lets me process what has happened during the day and process any feeling I have about the happenings.

Here are two different ways that I use, and you can use, in your bullet journal. The first and simplest is using a brain dump.

Brain Dumps

You may have heard of brain dumps being called “morning pages” or “stream of consciousness journaling”. Both of these phrases have the same meaning as a “brain dump”. Take a page in your bullet journal and just dump everything in your mind on to paper. Don’t censor your thoughts and don’t look back on your writing till your finished. Just get the thoughts down on paper. After you’ve done that you can read over it and start to sort it all out.

Once you have dumped everything out of your brain on to paper you are going to sort your ideas into two boxes “control” and “no control”. Once you have done this put a big x through the “no control” ideas, as there is nothing you can do for them. The final step is, under these two boxes make a box and call it “action I can take over what I have control over”. In this box list the actions you can take over your controllable ideas and thoughts.

Once you have these actions listed you can put them into action, whether it’s right now or whether they are things you add to your bullet journal tasks or ideas, your thoughts are more ordered. I use brain dumps regularly just to be able to sort what I have in my mind, I hope you find it useful too.

Brain dump pages

Brain dumps are designed to help you with:

  • Centering and grounding you
  • Reduce feelings of overwhelm
  • Provide some guidance for your day
  • Reduce anxiety about the day ahead
  • Clear your head
  • Free up mental energy

Journaling Prompts

Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal

Another way that I journal and find very helpful is journaling prompts. A journal prompt is a simple statement designed to inspire you or offer you an idea of what to write about. There isn’t any trick to them, you choose the prompt that resounds with you and then reach deep and answer the prompt. Here are a few of my favourite. If you don’t like these all you have to do is google “journal prompts for…” and you will find hundreds for all different purposes.

  • Write a letter to your older self.
  • What worries you? Is there a pressing problem you need to work out?
  • Where do you want to be 5, 10, or 15 years from now?
  • Write letters to your future children and grandchildren that you can give to them when they are older. These letters will help them understand the type of person you were at their age.
  • Write letters to friends and family members about things you can’t say to them in person.

Self-discovery journaling prompts

  • What would your ideal day look like?
  • What does a successful life look like to you?
  • What would you say is your biggest strength?
  • How are you most often misunderstood by other people?
  • What is the number one thing that feels like it’s missing from your life right now?

Journaling prompts for depression and anxiety

  • What are three things you can do to help your mental health?
  • When times get tough I want to remember that
  • 10 things I feel thankful for are
  • On a scale of 1-10 my mental health is at a _____ because
  • The biggest lessons I’ve learned from anxiety are:

Mental Health Bullet Journal Collections

This final list is ideas for collections to include in your bullet journal as reminders for when you are feeling down. They are all self explanatory. I would recommend to at the least have the top three collections in your bujo and the gratitude log.

  • A happy list
  • Self-care to-do list
  • Mood trackers
  • Things to love about yourself
  • Water log
  • Bad day checklist
  • Gratitude log
  • Sleep log
  • Brain-dump list
  • Meditation diary
  • Entertainment list

I hope that you found this post of use for journaling inspiration. Feel free to email me at [email protected] or comment on this post.

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Two easy but powerful ways to start journaling

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