How to journal to learn about yourself and improve your mental health30.05.2023
Shaping one’s innermost thoughts or describing the day’s most important moments within the pages of a notebook may seem like an old-fashioned gesture. But more and more, experts recommend this activity for the many benefits it brings to the psychological well-being of the writer. Journaling is often associated with adolescence, a time when people try to quell an inner whirlwind of feelings by relying on the secret pages of a diary. However, not only can keeping a journal start at any age, but it can also become an essential tool for improving self-esteem, overcoming daily difficulties, or even simply finding a creative outlet.
Practical tips for keeping a journal
However, if you want to start journaling and turn this pastime into a habit, here are some helpful tips to make it easier.
– First, you must find the type of journalling that best suits your writing method. For example, some prefer to type on their keyboard to write faster. The more traditionalists who are fond of writing by hand can choose their favorite diary or notebook to start collecting memories.
– Your diary doesn’t have to only be a collection of written pages. When it’s time to give free rein to your thoughts, you might find words limiting. Feel free to leave room for creativity through drawings, poems, graphs, photos, and even the application of tickets or receipts that have marked the day’s or the last period’s experiences.
– Write daily to establish a routine. When you are particularly inspired, it is easy to write down your emotions and the day’s events. But sometimes, forgetting the diary at the bottom of a drawer feels easier. Carving out some time every day, even if only ten minutes, in the evening before going to bed to journal, you will soon make this activity a routine with many psycho-physical benefits.
Keeping a journal to process the day
Pen and paper are all one needs to start journaling. According to experts, there are different types of diaries. The first is the traditional ‘intimate’ diary, in which the writer describes daily events and experiences, thus promoting a cathartic process. A classic example is the Diary of Anne Frank, which narrates the daily chronicle of a young teenage girl of Jewish descent, forced to live clandestinely to escape Nazi persecution.
Another category is the travel diary. This famous form of journalling allows the writer to remember and share their adventures. Great explorers such as Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus used to jot down their experiences in foreign lands in their journals. These valuable accounts have helped historians better understand our past. Fill your own diary with notes on the itinerary of your next adventure, include interesting facts, photos, and tickets of the places you have visited, and remember to leave room for the feelings you experience along the way. Even years later, reopening the journal will be like going back in time and an opportunity to relive many positive emotions.
And finally, there are personal diaries with a therapeutic purpose, not only limited to the objective recounting of facts but also involving the psychological processing of experiences. This form of therapeutic writing is a real panacea for those who put it into practice. Listed below are some of the benefits of journaling for mental health.
Reduce anxiety and stress
There are a variety of activities to combat stress, but keeping a journal can be the ideal tool for relieving it. Indeed, writing allows you to clarify your ideas, detach yourself from the thoughts that plague your mind, and thus also, reorder all the emotions you have experienced during the day. The same happens with anxiety, a psychophysical malaise that affects a growing amount of people but which can be soothed through writing. Writing down negative or traumatic experiences allows you to externalize them and give a liberating feeling to your body and mind.
Strengthen your memory
Keeping a journal is also an excellent activity to maintain a well-trained memory. When night falls, and you jot down your experiences, you exert a mnemonic effort to remember what happened during the day. Concentrating on even the most minute details may seem like an effort initially, but will gradually become easier and more automatic as time passes. Moreover, writing for yourself gives you the absolute freedom to share every thought or feeling. As the years go by, your journals become an excellent resource for retracing your history, almost like having your autobiography to consult whenever needed.
Organize your thoughts and make more conscious decisions
Writing is a work of synthesis since you think and then write your ideas on paper. Journaling helps to organize your thoughts and understand them better. Writing allows you to detach from the events you describe and the emotion you’ve experienced. As a logical consequence, making decisions with greater awareness and autonomy will be easier after organizing your thoughts and delving into your inner world.
The perfect tool for collecting memories
Journaling is not only an intimate and therapeutic moment; it can also become the best way to collect memories during your travels. If you love to set off to discover faraway places and trace your thoughts on paper, the Homo Sapiens Crystal fountain pen was designed for you. This minimalist and practical writing instrument in resin and lava powder features bronze metalwork. Its double-reservoir filling system allows you to write much longer without refilling the ink chamber. The 18-karat rose gold nib comes in five sizes, from extra fine to stub. In addition, since it is a writing instrument designed for those who travel and need convenience, the cap closure is press-fit to ensure comfortable and handy use.