Journaling… In All Its Shapes, Forms, and Fun
In today’s age, it feels as though the world is a giant ball of chaos. Things are changing quickly, and while many of them are out of our control, journaling is a way to create order of that tornado of life. To help you on your quest for a better life, happier mind-state, and an uplifted spirit, we delve into all things journaling. This includes the health benefits, tips on how to start, and a library of all journaling types.
Have you ever had a moment in your life where you feel as though emotions are going to blast out of you like Mount Vesuvius? A time where your mind was weaving a giant cobweb of thoughts, not allowing you to fall asleep? Or maybe you feel isolated or alone? It’s been medically proven in these tough times that journaling is a great way to help you process these emotions.
Depending on the issues you’re coping with or desire to work through, there are journaling types perfectly fitted to help you move forward. When you put your deepest emotions, concerns, and thoughts onto paper, you can better process things. Study after study has shown that it works. People have coped better with heartache when they journal about their breakup. On the other side of the spectrum, business journaling allows ideas to blossom and increase your productivity.
Like eating vegetables or going to the gym, writing in a journal can be just as tough. Researchers have found that many of us feel anxious, sad, or even guilty when we dump our deepest thoughts onto paper. I can tell you from personal experience that is VERY true. For example, a beloved person in my life has always had issues dealing with anger. Normally a positive person, it was when he felt like the world was in chaos he would unleash his negativity on anyone that would listen. It wasn’t until he started journaling was he able to let it go.
Now that we’ve got you excited on the idea of journaling, it’s now time to talk about HOW TO journal. First off, it’s not about being perfect. Don’t worry about sentence structure, spelling, or grammar. The goal is to extract the mental and physical benefits of writing by being expressive.
Take a moment to think about what your personal goal for journaling is. Are you trying to hit new goals in athletic endeavors? Trying to reduce the amount of anxiety and stress in your life? Manifest something new and exciting or let go of the past? To help give you some ideas on what to write, we talk about the many journaling types out there below.
Yes, we said it isn’t easy to express yourself so it’s good to remove any stumbling blocks for creating a good habit. Find a place you’ll be inspired to write. Be honest with yourself. You may imagine sitting outside drinking a cup of coffee or snuggled up in the comfy chair in your breakfast nook is a better spot. Once you’ve picked a place, set aside a pen and journal to get started.
Inspiration is important, so take time to find a journal that will make you want to write in it. Maybe it’s a picture of a girl doing yoga or one that says “Wish.”
Setting aside a few minutes a day can do wonders on making a one-time thing into a habit. Even if it’s only a sentence or two, just get yourself into the habit so it becomes a daily ritual. For some, first thing in the morning is the best time before life starts moving. Others it might be over lunch or even right before bed. Find a time that works for you!
There isn’t a right or wrong way to journal. The objective is to get your ideas, frustrations, and thoughts out. Nobody has to see what you’re writing. Journaling is all for you! If it’s easier to make a bulleted list or just scratch down angry words, then do just that. Just let it flow.
Still feel stuck? You can Cure-I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Write-Itis with these journal prompts.
If you haven’t noticed, I’m PASSIONATE about journals. Before I even started nluv Finish and Design Studio, any time I stopped in a crafty shop or was traveling, I would keep my eyes open for unique journals. I don’t have just one I write in but an entire library of them, each for their own purpose. To help in your quest to fall in love with one of my favorite hobbies, I’m diving deep into each of the different journaling types that exist.
Like a good recipe, the bullet journal contains one part planner, a dash of diary, and a heaping spoonful of written meditation. These are sometimes referred to as a BuJo. Instead of a blank canvas, bullet journaling is one of those types that provides sections to jot down everything. Typically, you’ll see sections to log daily to-do lists. A monthly or weekly calendar to keep track of what’s going on and a place to record both long and short-term goals. This is a great option for someone starting their journey into journaling.
When you think of the word “diary”, the yearly journal is the one that most comes to mind. Normally they contain 365 pages, one for each day of the year. Some have a calendar and others are divided into three sections: daily, weekly, and yearly. This is less of an expressive variety and more a way to organize, plan, or jot down ideas as you live. A great way to keeping track of what’s going on.
For those that love books in any shape, form, or passion, a reading journal is a way to take it up a notch. The idea is to help you become a more engaged reader. It’s a way for you to extract ideas so you can remember them later on. Most use this as a tool to bring up great concepts for a class, work project, or a test later on. Although it doesn’t have to be for a future project, you can also use it to help you understand a book better. For example, when I was reading the book “The Joy Of Living”, the concepts within it were very deep and somewhat complex to me. I had a journal next to me to write down concepts so I could deconstruct them later on to really get to the gist of it.
A personal favorite of mine. The art journal is where I keep all my designs, images, and ideas for my next nluv Studio journal covers. From things I see in nature to cityscapes, everything inspires me in some shape, form, or fashion. With that being said, this journal type contains both words and sketches to help me remember ideas that I want to go back to once I’m ready to hit the studio floor.
Within the realm of a daily variety is the five-minute journal. A lot of us out there focus on the negative. “I don’t have this.” “My back hurts.” “The world is falling apart.” This one is designed to get your head out of the muck and into a better more positive mind-state. A perfect tool for anyone that’s struggling to take a moment in their life to plan, evaluate, and be grateful for what they have. Typically these are the 5 questions contained within The Five Minute Journal:
On the same branch of the five minute journal is the gratitude journal. Instead of the five questions listed above, it’s a bit more free-spirited around paying attention to the good things in your life. The result is becoming more attune to the simpler pleasures in life. You also switch your mindset from what has NOT happened to a positive outlook.
Need a kick start for your gratitude journal? Take a deep dive with me as we Eat, Drink, And Be Thankful – 15 Daily Gratitude Journal Prompts To Joy.
The dream journal isn’t about the fantasies you’re trying to achieve, but rather the practice of recording the fragments of your dreams during sleep while they’re still fresh. If you’re an artist, writer, or someone that has a creative block, this a great tool to help you push through that barrier. This is also a way for you to understand another part of your inner self that you may have never even experienced.
When you go on vacation or a long trip, the experiences sometimes can feel like you’re drinking from a firehose. The travel journal is my husband’s favorite journal because he has to write about all the experiences for our other business – Local Freshies®. He has notebooks and journals for each trip we’ve gone on or are planning to take. This is where he writes down about who we meet. Jots down the experiences focusing on all five senses, so when we get back, he has all this information at his fingertips.
Take a deeper dive down the road you traveled in our blog Wander Often. Wander Always. Tips, Tricks, and More For Journaling Travel.
As the old saying goes, “measure twice, cut once”, the project journal is the exact same idea. From a personal project like renovating a kitchen to a business plan like implementing new software, having a written record will help immensely before, during, and after the project to keep you on task. This will allow you to review your plans, keep track of what’s going on, and see what needs to be done.
As the name dictates, this is a daily log of what you eat and drink each day. This is a way for you to understand how much you’re consuming and get an idea of what habits (good or bad) you have surrounding food. I’ve used a food journal for years to better understand what I’m lacking or need to eat less of.
In the same space of the physical health realm, this is used to track your progress in athletic endeavors. Be it weightlifting, golfing, running or any other activity, the fitness journaling types will help you set and reach new heights that wouldn’t be possible without writing them down. Unless you track where you start and where you progress, you’ll never fully appreciate how far you’ve come.
As easy as it is to pick up our phones and type away, a simple mind shift to pick up a pen and scribble our thoughts down will do wonders for your life. No judgement. No trolling. Just you and your thoughts to make new things happen or let old hurts go. Where will you allow journaling types to take you?