Did you ever have a diary growing up? Wow, the nostalgia. I remember my beautiful, colorful Lisa Frank diary and pens kept me from getting in trouble several times. Oh, how the diary has now become the journal of adulthood. Journaling is simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health. Now, I am not saying journaling should replace seeing a therapist to help work through some of those challenging areas in our lives. It can be therapeutic and help you put things in perspective.

Like fasting, journaling can improve your well-being, strengthen your immune system, and help you through specific challenges in life. Here are a few steps to help you on your journaling journey.

Old School and New School

How do you want to journal? Do you want to freehand, have a hardcopy journal, or type on your laptop? I manually write in my journal because it is the only time I write in cursive. It is rather soothing to me.

Be Real with Yourself

Gone are the days when you accidentally drop your diary in the school hallway, and the bully picks it up and starts reading your secrets in front of the entire school. Let go of your fear and write. Think of your journal as something with your eyes only. If you have a loved one that you live with, consider a lock box to ease your mind of someone snooping.

Create a Routine

This is definitely something you want to be flexible with. When will you journal during your day? Will this be an early morning routine while you enjoy your coffee? Will this be a mid-day post-lunch stress relief or an end-of-the-day wind-down routine while everyone is asleep? Find what works for you and understand that some days will look different. 

“Your journal will stand as a chronicle of your growth, your hopes, your fears, your dreams, your ambitions, your sorrows, your serendipities.” — Kathleen Adams

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