If you have started to read this blog somewhat apprehensively, you’re not alone. Many people are intimidated by the thought of putting pen to paper, are unsure where to start or, simply think that they are not creative enough. The good news is that you do not need to be immensely academic or creative to write. Even better, you don’t even have to show anyone – your journal can be just for you! Writing equips us with communication and thinking skills – “Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is that you’re having a relationship with your mind” (Natalie Goldburg) Effective journaling has been found to give an increased sense of wellbeing, have a mood boosting effect and improve working memory. It can also have a calming and clearing effect on your mind. If you are considering reaching for a shiny new notebook and starting journaling, you might want to check out our top tips below.
The OutdoorCureOnline Guide to Effective Journaling:
1) If you are struggling to get started, try a writing exercise. You can find plenty online to help you get started or simply describe what you did today and see where your writing goes from there. There are even journals that have specific writing prompts available.
2) Make sure you are writing in a notebook or journal that you like. (Not just because we love stationery and want to buy all of the notebooks, but because it should be an object that you want to pick up and write in)
3) Make it a regular practice. Like anything the more you practice the easier it will become and the more you will get out of it. If you have a self care plan, consider adding it as a self care activity.
4) Just journal. By this we mean you are not writing for anyone and you do not need to make yourself look good. Make your journal a judgement free zone and you will find yourself writing with more authenticity.
5) Use your journal to check in with yourself – how was your day? How do you feel?
6) Keep your journal to hand. Even if you do your journaling at a specific time – perhaps in the morning when you wake for example – you can use it at time when you are particularly struggling, as an outlet for what you are feeling.
7) Don’t worry about whether it makes sense. This is a stream of consciousness approach. Just write without worrying about spelling, grammar or if it even makes sense. Note any recurring themes that you identify from this.
Let us know how you get on, or, if you are a regular journaler – what benefits you have discovered.
The OutdoorCureOnline Team x