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Why you should journal & 5 ways to start today!

Over the last few years there seems to be an increased interest in journaling. But what is it about journaling that people are so obsessed with?

According to Hayley Phelan of the New York Times, “journaling has become a hallmark of the so-called self-care movement, right up there with meditation.”

Research has shown that journaling can not only help improve your mindfulness and communication but also lead to increased IQ, stronger emotional intelligence, reduced stress, increased confidence and more creativity, according to HuffPost.

So, with the rise in self-care practices and growing awareness of taking care of your mental health, it is no surprise that with its wide range of benefits, journaling has become a shining star of mindfulness.

How can you start journaling?

Many may think of journaling and automatically assume it only means keeping a diary, but there are actually many ways to practice journaling. Depending on your interests and goals, you may want to keep a brief daily log, or you may want to create something creative like an art journal during your spare time. Here are some of the most common types of journals, and how they can help you.

Traditional Journal

As I mentioned earlier, many people may automatically think of a diary when they hear the word ‘journaling.’ While there are many ways to journal, this traditional method is still very popular. Whether you want to write letters to yourself, streams of consciousness or respond to writing prompts, buying a blank journal is a great way to make your journal uniquely your own.

Gratitude Journal

A second way to participate in journaling is by keeping note of the things you are grateful for each day. Your lists can include anything, big or small, that you notice throughout your day that helps put a smile on your face. If you want more structure, The Five Minute Journal is a great option, with gratitude-inspired prompts for morning and night.

Art Journal

If you prefer to express yourself through more artistic methods, or just want to add more flair to your writing, an artistic journal might be for you. From bullet journaling to create your own layout, scrapbooking your favourite memories, to filling the pages with drawings, there are endless ways to let your creativity fill the pages of a journal.

Dream Journal

Our dreams can be very interesting, and sometimes very vivid. For most people, it's often difficult to remember exactly what happened when we were asleep (read more here), so some people like to keep a dream journal to capture what they do remember. Keeping a small journal by your bed is a great idea if you’re looking to save your dreams, or to jot down those late-night bright ideas!

Travel Journal

While most travelling is on hold until COVID-19 ends, another way to journal is to keep track of your travels. You can plan your future trips, keep a diary of what you see and do on them, or scrapbook the photos and souvenirs you bring home. Hopefully, you’ll get to travel soon, and when you do, you’ll have a perfect plan for your journal!

No matter what kind of journal you’re thinking of creating, there is a way for everyone to take advantage of the benefits it has for your mind, body and soul.

Jonnica Hill

Laurier Brantford '21

Hey I'm Jonnica and I am passionate about writing, music, photography, fashion and so much more. I was a founding member of the Her Campus at Laurier Brantford chapter, and over my three years with the team have been a writer, editor, marketing director and co-Campus Correspondent. Digital Media and Journalism, Class of 2021
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