Dear Diary. Did you guys used to start your dairy in this way as a kid? I remember being introduced to journal writing as a kid when it was called keeping a diary. My understanding of a diary at the time was something I wrote my thoughts in. Unbeknownst to my young mind, I was prepping myself to engage in a healthy behavior for my mind and overall mental health.
I tend to journal in spurts. I have never been a daily journal writer and have accumulated several journals which are half filled and packed away somewhere. Every so often I will come across an old journal or some writings I saved on my laptop. It’s always interesting to read the journal because it’s like a time capsule of who I was and what I was going through at that moment. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say and reviewing an old journal definitely gives me some clarity.
There are some hefty benefits to journaling. Therapists often recommend keeping a journal to their clients because of the potential benefits. These benefits include:
-documenting your feelings in the moment to reduce the intensity of the emotion
-using the journal as a reflection tool to help you gain insight
-helps process and make sense of things
-keeping track of goals and the plans you take to follow through
-documenting affirmations, mantras, scriptures, inspiring quotes
You can find more benefits to journaling here.
Lately, I have tried to be more intentional about journal writing and have committed to writing something almost daily. I typically write in the morning, after I meditate and before prayer. I find writing in the morning helps me set the tone for my day and I can get out any unhelpful thoughts, document last night’s dreams, and give myself a pep talk.There are times when I journal before bed to release the day and the thoughts and feelings which may have come up depending on what occurred during the day. I try to release the day prior to me going to bed so that I can have a good night’s rest.
I like to free write (just go from the top of the dome and write down whatever may be on my mind at the time). But if I am journaling with a specific goal in mind then I may write a little differently. Whatever your writing style is, the important part about a journal practice is that you do it. Write something each day, whether it’s a paragraph or a few pages. The thing about a journal is you are talking to yourself and God, no one else is privy to what happens in your journal (unless you decide to share, lol). Don’t get caught up in not having a fancy journal to write in. You can use a notebook, keep individual lined paper in a folder, write in Word or Google Docs, or use an app on your phone. You can also do a visual diary by recording yourself in voice notes or on video. Whatever method you choose, just take some time to write and check on yourself.
(Dislosure: The links below contain affiliate links so if you click on them and purchase an item, I get a small percentage for the referral.)
Notes for iPhone (free)
Journey for android (free)
Day One (free)
5 Minute Journal ($4.99)
My Taught You Journals by Myleik Teele
Start Where You Are Journal for Exploration by Meera Patel