The idea of journaling can be very appealing to many. Growing up, I loved the idea of having my little notebook to write about what was going on in my life. However, keeping up with journaling is the real challenge. Over the years, I tried multiple times to begin a new journal. It took me a long time to figure out how to keep it up since most of the time I would last about a month, and then I would forget about it. Here is my experience with journaling, a few tips as to how to keep up with it, and how it can impact your life for the better.
I first started journaling when I was about nine years old when I was first diagnosed with my anxiety disorder.At the time, my therapist had asked me to journal every week before our meetings for us to know what was going on with my anxiety. I would first start with a few sentences. Sometimes I would draw a picture. It was difficult for me to keep it up since I had an obligation to write something in my journal every week. Therefore, that motivation to the journal was lost. I disliked the activity for a long time. For a few years post therapy, I avoided journaling at all costs. I think it was because I associated it with all of those therapy sessions. However, that changed when I discovered bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is a unique style of journal. I describe it as a mix of journaling, scrapbooking and planning. It allows you to express yourself not only through writing but also creatively. There’s no pressure to fill out a journal with your thoughts and feelings every day. You make it your own.
Some ways to incorporate journaling in your life would be to designate a notebook or whatever type of paper type supply you prefer as your journal or diary. You don’t even have to call it a journal. The number one thing that prevents people from keeping up with journals is the pressure you put on yourself. Don’t set any expectations. Have it handy somewhere in your room. Once in a while, when you feel like it, write whatever you want in it. It could be how you’re feeling, what you did that day, or even just writing about your favorite movie. The thing with journals is it can’t be forced. That makes it a chore and gets boring. That’s why I lean more towards bullet journaling since it’s more creative. It’s a way to express myself. Once you get a good rhythm with your journal, that’s when it gets fun, which leads to you wanting to write in it a lot more.
Another tip I would give to those wanting to start a bullet journal is to avoid watching videos or looking up pictures on Pinterest as much as possible. If you start, you might want to get inspired, but once you get the hang of it let yourself create your art.Pinterest was very influenced and would get frustrated because my calligraphy or my art would be terrible compared to others. This would make me frustrated, and I would put my journal aside for months. Once you let your creativity take the lead, it’s much more fun and freeing. Being a perfectionist doesn’t help, but that’s beside the point. Having the challenge of figuring out what to put in your bullet journal, such as themes, calligraphy, and so on, is so much more fun.
Whether it was in a bullet journal or a regular journal, journalism has tremendously impacted my life. It had helped me express my anxieties and other emotions when it was too difficult verbally. It started with therapy, which I dreaded, to one of my favorite hobbies. The thing with journals is they can be so personal to you. It’s like putting what is trapped in your brain on a piece of paper: it’s so liberating. The key is to find the type of journaling that inspires you to keep it up. I could not recommend it enough, especially if you have a hard time with your mental health. It could help tremendously.