Journal Practice

Practice to habitDiscover who you are, sort things out…

Journaling brings clarity and perspective to life. Getting thoughts and ideas out of your head and down on paper lets you gain insights you'd never see otherwise. It illustrates habits and emotional reflexes you don't recognize moment to moment and helps you learn who you are and where you're going in life. It lets you process and resolve stresses similar to the way talking about them does - free from judgment - and it lets you approach life more calmly and creatively.  For many, it becomes a time of day and a life record they end up treasuring.

 

You can expect: to reduce stress, to make better choices, to learn and grow in ways you might never have.  To break ruts. To cultivate mindfulness and humor.

What the experts are saying: James W. Pennebaker, M.D., professor of psychology at UT Austin, is proving what many journal writers already suspect-journaling isn't just good for the soul, it's good for the body. His research indicates that regular journaling strengthens immune cells called T-lymphocytes; he contends that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.

Level of Effort: Easy

Time Involved: 5 minutes or more

 

How to Practice:

1.  Decide on a journal. 
You may want to maintain your journal online, or in paper form.

2.  Commit to a schedule.  An important aspect of the long-term success of journaling is the frequency with which you use it. It's usually best to aim for once a day.

3.  Keep writing. Many people find that their whole attitude changes once they've been keeping a journal for a while.

 

What to consider:

  • Journal immediately after you finish your Daily Mindful Practice. This is an optimal time to record your thoughts and experiences, as you become the observer or watcher of your life.

 

Additional Resources:

 

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3. Keep Writing

If you are struggling with what to write in a journal or how to start here are a few topics to you can write about to get you going:

  • What is your intention for today?
  • How do you want to grow as person today? Examples:
    • I want to be more kind and loving towards myself
    • I want to read to my child 30 minutes per day
    • I want to be more patience towards my husband and child
    • I want to take better care of my body

 

Benefits of Keeping a Journal

•  It trains you to be observant; helps to develop the habit of being observant in all experiences, which allows you to gain clarity and learn more lessons. Instead of paying attention to the negative side of things, you pay attention to the positive side to extract lessons from it.

•  It prevents you from losing an idea or thought.

•  It trains you to express your thoughts.

•  Reviewing your journal entries helps you to remember your thoughts and better understand yourself.

•  It allows you to see your progress over time.

•  Reduces stress - there is ample scientific evidence that suggests journaling lowers stress and improves health.