For those of you who keep a journal, you understand that it’s a personal and treasured possession. For those who do not keep a journal, it’s not too late to start! If you were told that there was a 20-minute activity that you could do, which would decrease your stress, improve your health and memory, strengthen your writing and problem-solving skills, and motivate you to reach your goals, would you do it? It’s probably worth considering.
My journal is bright orange, and it’s made of a soft leather casing, holding bendy pages that feel a bit like parchment paper. It even smells good. I don’t journal daily, but I do like to record quotations that resonate with me, or write about my kids’ special achievements, or jot down a joke I heard, as well as record feelings about my job and my family. I’ve even listed my top five favorite bands, names of famous people I’d like to meet, and a list of celebrities that friends have told me I resemble over the years. Pretty much anything that comes to my mind. And the great thing is, you can’t go wrong. There’s no one right way to journal.
Journals can take many forms. You can keep a free-form one, or a motivational one that sets your day in a positive direction with inspirational quotes. Some people challenge themselves to keep a gratitude journal, where they recognize all that’s good in their lives, which lifts their spirits. Others prefer a writer’s journal with prompts, a thematic one, or even a success journal.
“For me, journaling is a positive way for me to practice gratefulness,” said Tonya Weaver, Denver mom and pediatric school nurse. “When I sit down to write in my journal it helps me to stop, slow down, and appreciate. It’s basically an effective self-care technique.”
No matter what type of journal you choose to use, there are benefits. A journal can help keep you organized. It can improve memory and problem-solving skills by helping your brain create connections that can be consolidated to organize your memories.
Journaling can also be used as a self-help tool, in that it builds awareness so that you can observe patterns in your own thinking and behavior, which increases mindfulness. It can help with discipline, in that you may set a regular time to write in your journal. It can also reduce stress by giving you the distance and perspective you need to take control of a situation.
Finally, it helps with brainstorming because you can keep all of your ideas, doodles, sketches, and notes in one place – whatever pops into your head.
It’s fun to select the kind of journal that reflects yourself and your personal style. There are many retail outlets and online businesses where you can find great journals with varying paper/size/color/cover combinations. And to create your own customized journal that fits who you are, visit: Customized Journals or Dot Journals.