You’ve probably heard of journaling as a great addition to your morning routine to manage stress and improve overall health and wellness. Personally, it was about a year ago that I picked up my first journal, excited to see what all the hype was about.
I had few expectations the first time I cracked open my book. But, after just a few minutes, I was hooked.
Here’s the thing, journaling helps you to understand your feelings. It also may lead to revelations you otherwise would not have uncovered. There something powerful about sitting down with a pen and paper and letting the words flow.
- In a funk and not sure why? Start writing.
- Frustrated with your significant other? Write it down.
- Over-the-moon excited for vacation next week? Get your pen.
Whether you’re feeling good, bad or anything in between, putting words on paper can help you make sense of the constant stream of thoughts passing through your brain.
Take this example:
Let’s say it’s Sunday night and you’re feeling really stressed about a meeting you have on Monday. You pull out your journal and start writing about your unpleasant state of mind. After the initial few sentences acknowledging that you’re stressed and not looking forward to tomorrow, you start to look inward. Why are you so stressed? Are you unprepared? Do you dislike the topic you’re presenting on? Maybe you dislike public speaking in general?
Regardless of the root cause, the process of journaling will help you reveal the answer. Let’s say you realize you are unprepared. To avoid feeling this way in the future, now you start to write down things you could have done better to prepare. Maybe you realize you could have carved out an hour of your Friday to write your speech. Maybe you figure out that you’re most productive in the morning and should spend the first part of your day preparing for meetings rather than checking email.
Whatever the solution is, you’re bound to uncover a few good ideas. Ideas you can apply moving forward to prevent yourself from wasting another Sunday stressed about work.
Journaling is just as effective and important on good days is it is on day ones. By writing down and keeping track of what is going well in your life, you’re likely to attract more positivity. Perhaps you realize that carving out time for friends and family during the week leads to greater happiness. Maybe you uncover a pattern that going to bed earlier leads to waking up in a better mood. Whatever the topic, the process of journaling is likely to lead to realizations about yourself and your life that you otherwise wouldn’t have uncovered.
You will also probably enjoy looking back on older journal entries to see how far you have come. Say you were having a bad day a year ago and you wrote about what was bothering you. A year later you look back and realize everything worked out exactly as it should have. The stress or sadness you were experiencing a year ago was only temporary and the sun always shines again after the darkest of days.
And with that, I highly recommend you pick up a journal and start writing! See link to my journal from Amazon, linked here.
To get you started, I’ve also included a few journaling prompts below that I’ve found to be especially powerful and informative.
Prompts to get you started:
-What am I doing when I feel my happiest?
Use this prompt to help you identify what you need to incorporate more of into your life.
-What brings stress/negativity into my life?
This will help you identify things you want to limit/avoid going forward.
-What do I hope my life looks like 1 year from now?
Use this prompt to ensure you are living a life that is bringing you closer to your goals.
-What am I best at? What am I passionate about?
This prompt is powerful if you are feeling stuck and looking to make a change in your life/career.
-If I could spend today doing anything, what would I do?
This will help you realize how you value spending your time. Make more time for these activities!
-What have I done recently that I’m proud of?
Everyone needs an occasional confidence boost! Use this prompt to remind yourself how incredible you are.
-What am I most thankful for?
This is a great prompt to put life into perspective and cultivate thankfulness for the life you’re living.
That’s all for now friends. Happy writing!
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