Have you ever tried journaling? If not, it might be worth a shot. A 2018 study involving 70 adults with elevated anxiety found that online journaling for 12 weeks significantly reduced their mental distress. Long-term journaling was also associated with greater resilience.
Curious how to try out this effective practice of journaling? Here, we’re sharing 3 easy ways to get started with journaling as a way to proactively support your emotional health. It’s a great thing to add to your morning routine and start the day off on the right foot.
- Grab any paper and pen. Find a calm, quiet area with as few distractions as possible. This is just for you. No one else will see what you write.
Now that you’re settled, here are three different prompts you can try:
- If you want to get your creativity flowing, try freewriting. Whatever comes to mind, jot it down. Even if what you’re writing doesn’t make sense, that’s okay! Just get it on paper and see where it takes you. This practice can help free you of unwanted inhibition so you can hop into your work for the day or a project with a more creative mind.
- A classic exercise is just to write as a diary. Make notes of things that happened and especially how you felt about them. This can unlock thoughts and help you understand yourself better than you did before you started writing.
- Finally, try creating a gratitude journal. Make a list of things you are thankful for – the list can include both big things, like a promotion at work, and small things, like a smile from a passing stranger on the sidewalk. Challenge yourself – can you fill an entire page? Write in your gratitude journal enough, and you’ll find yourself seeking the good in each day. Retrain your brain to focus on what’s positive!
- Journaling doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. Make a goal to journal consistently for a few days and see how you feel as a result. Free your mind, work through challenges, and focus on the good things each day.