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Journaling: How to start Journaling, Benefits, and types of Journaling

An important habit to build that requires you to pour out your soul and heart into it is journaling

One with many benefits on the physical health, mental health, and a beginner’s guide to building other habits.

The Art of Journaling

diary girl hand journal
The art of journaling Pexels.com

Journaling is a documentation of your thoughts, your day-to-day activities, and the happenings of your daily life in a book, your phone, or your computer.

While journaling is mostly said to be the art of writing in books, you should also know that you don’t have to write in a book everyday to journal.

The art of journaling is the act of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and memories.

So, the act is not in the place you write it or the way you write it but mostly about what you’re doing.

Which is, conveying your thoughts and emotions.

Think of it like this: Having someone to rant to, having a listening ear, or telling someone about your life without the fear of being judged, reprimanded, or given unsolicited advice.

So, that someone or something can be a phone notepad, a chat box connected to your other phone number, a beautiful notebook or notepad, a diary, or a computer.

Types of Journaling

As with everything else, there are various types of journaling and knowing the types will help you understand what journaling is and why it is important for you to write in a journal.

So, what are the types?

  • List journaling
a list of disorder signs written on a notebook
List journaling Pexels.com

List journaling is a type of journaling where you write down your thoughts in lists. Either by numbering your thoughts or by using bullet points.

  • Long journaling
photo of person holding cup
Long journaling Pexels.com

This is a form of writing down your thoughts and how your day went in detail.

This can take about 1,2, or more pages of writing.

It is usually for people who want to pour out their heart or who have had a long day and would like to express how their day went in their journal.

  • Short journaling
crop stylish woman writing in notebook
Short journaling Pexels.com

It’s similar to long journaling but this time it is done by writing in short succession.

It is like a summary of how your day went, your thoughts, and how you feel.

It’s basically for people who don’t like writing for a long time but still want to put down their thoughts.

It can be writing from 1 to 2 or 3 paragraphs a day.

  • Design/Art journaling
closeup photo of graphing paper
Design/Art journaling Pexels.com

Design journaling is another way to put down your thoughts but this time by drawing an art representation of your day, your memories, your feelings, or thoughts.

The interesting thing about these types of journaling is that there is no better one than the other. 

Just find the one that works for you.

“Why should I Journal?” and the mental health benefits of keeping a journal

  • It helps you vent: You’ve probably heard of this before or not. But writing in a journal can also be the same as venting to a friend or another person about your feelings and occurrences.
  • It improves your writing and communication skills: One of the best ways to be a better writer is by writing everyday.
  • When you journal, you are as well writing everyday and this will improve your writing skills greatly.
  • It also improves your communication skills because writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you vent. As seen in the first point. 
  • It helps you arrange your thoughts: If you are the type with jumbled thoughts who always seem to have a lot on your mind, keeping a journal will help you organize your thoughts.
  • It helps in achieving goals: You can write down your goals as a form of journaling. This helps your brain remember that you have tasks to complete and goals to achieve. 
  • Which in turn helps you get to work on your goals.
  • It speeds up healing: A research was carried out on women with breast cancer who wrote in their journals.
  • The art of journaling their thoughts and writing down the positive aspects of their lives gave them speedy recovery.

Also read: 5 Powerful Benefits of Writing Things Down

How can I start Journaling?

It is not hard task to start. In fact it is the easiest habit to develop. 

All it takes is dedicating a few minutes of your day to writing your thoughts, feelings, or plans down.

You can journal anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a fancy book or a fancy place.

Although, to leave a legacy of your life like Leornardo Davinci and other prominent creatives who had a journal, you will need a hardbound book that can stand the test of time.

But if you don’t care about things like that, then you can write your thoughts anywhere; a book, your computer, your phone, etc.

And the best time to start is now.

One thing you should also know is that you don’t have to do it everyday if you don’t have the time. 

You can journal on specific days or when you really need to vent about how you feel. You can also journal when you need to document an important memory or occurrence.

Choose whatever day or time that works for you and write down your thoughts.

The important part is that you are getting your feelings and thoughts down and that in itself has a lot of benefits.

About

Sarah Olaleye

Hi, I’m Sarah. I am a writer and productivity coach. I am passionate about productive living and helping creative people realize and maximize their potential. I share my life-changing and actionable productivity and planning tips on this blog and I design planners, templates, and arts for my digital shop.

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