5 Ways Daily Journaling Practices Help Establish Healthy Habits

    Roshelle Anderson June 23, 2022

    Journaling can be a helpful way to self-address many areas in life. 

    Using a journal to write down your inner thoughts and feelings can not only help you acknowledge the world around you but also aid in the understanding of yourself, clearing the way for healthier habits.

    Whether you utilize a journal for self-expression, healing, fun, or to better understand the world, it is an inexpensive and easy way to get your thoughts in order.

    Here are five ways using a daily journal can help you kickstart healthy habits.

    Juice Flair

    1. Keep Life Organized

    Daily journaling can help sort out the things that are important in our lives from the hang-ups that bother us and keep us from feeling content. 

    Writing down daily experiences helps us reflect on them in more detail so we can see and understand trends and keep track of patterns in our lives to help us better understand why we feel a certain way or react to particular events. 

    Journaling can also help you organize your goals and sort through what is beneficial for your health and what you need to let go of. 

    Making notes about what you eat, physical activity, and how you’re feeling can help you keep track of your diet, exercise, and mental state.

    Getting your thoughts and feelings organized is the first step to understanding yourself better and moving toward a healthier way of life.


    2. Process Emotions in a Healthy Way

    Throughout our lives, we carry a multitude of emotions with us. So it can be difficult to sort out the reasons we feel a certain way. 

    Journaling every day can assist us in recognizing our emotions and understanding the reason behind a particular feeling. Understanding triggers can help us cope and organize our thoughts to better deal with the issue in the future. 

    Here are some ways to help stay honest and on track to process your feelings:

    • Write in a private area free from distractions.
    • Allow yourself time for reflection.
    • Don’t feel obligated to write about a particular event.
    • Structure it however you want.
    • Keep your journal private.

    In day-to-day life, we may suppress or express emotions that we don’t fully understand.

    Journaling can help us self-assess our emotions, and it can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves. Processing emotions and allowing them to live on a page can be a healthy way to understand your feelings and be introspective. 


    3. Embrace Self-Discovery

    To truly start establishing healthy habits in our lives, we must first understand ourselves.

    A journal is a very personal tool. It can be kept private, disposed of after every use, or shared with loved ones. The journey of self-discovery is different for everyone. 

    It can be an outlet for positive self-talk and allows you to write down things you may never say out loud or to friends. You can self-assess how writing those things you’d otherwise never voice makes you feel.

    Writing is a creative outlet for self-expression and an art form where you don’t need to worry about being graded or critiqued.

    You can write in any style you want with grammar and spelling mistakes. You can express yourself artistically through metaphors and imagery to help broaden your imagination, or keep it simple and straight to the point.   

    When we journal, it can help us understand ourselves better so we can live more contently and do things that help us grow. 

    Writing our feelings can help guide us to accept ourselves the way we are in a private and judgment-free space.


    4. Release Negative Feelings and Thoughts

    When negative feelings or thoughts that are hard to articulate start taking over our emotions, they can become a burden.

    Writing about these thoughts or feelings can help us escape from their constant intrusions.

    Releasing negativity can free up space in our minds and allow us to live a fuller life. We can refocus our energy on things that give us joy and enlightenment. 

    Letting go of negative feelings is beneficial to our health. 

    Research shows that expressive writing can help improve both physical and psychological health. Journaling can reduce blood pressure. It can help improve immune, lung, and liver function, and aid in memory, mood, and well-being.

    When we write our thoughts and feelings down it can help in dealing with post-trauma intrusions and avoidance symptoms.


    5. Move Forward

    Once we have organized our sense of self and assessed our emotions and feelings through journaling, it is easier to move on with life. 

    Journaling is a great tool when seeking to understand future goals and dreams.

    A journal can be therapeutic and help jumpstart your journey toward healthy living. Eating healthy, joining a gym, exploring new hobbies like gardening or working on cars, and opening yourself up to meet new people can help you grow.

    Reflecting on these new positive experiences or addressing why they may not be right for you through writing can help guide you on your journey of self-discovery and health. 


    Journaling Health Goals 

    Starting a journal where you focus on the healthy habits you want in your life can help you be successful. 

    For example, asking yourself and writing down why you return to unhealthy habits, and exploring what it would mean for you to live differently, can help establish the mindset you need for your health goals.

    Following prompts and investigating why you want to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, or be more social can help you address why you haven't in the past and why you want to in the present.

    Keeping a journal about your health journey can help you stick with it, reach your goals, and gain enlightenment so you can continue healthy habits into the future.   


    Getting Started 

    Starting your writing experience and sticking with it can be hard at first. There are many helpful tools to help jump-start your thought process, such as the W.R.I.T.E. acronym.

    Setting aside time for self-reflection and following writing prompts, or taking a self-guided journaling course, can help steer you toward productive journaling.


    Roshelle Anderson


    Author bio: Roshelle Anderson is a freelance writer and editor from Oklahoma. From a young age, she was notorious for writing down humorous anecdotes about events on family vacations. She enjoys working with others to produce a well-crafted story no matter the subject. Roshelle is experienced in copy editing and proofreading for both fiction and nonfiction. She currently lives with her husband and three dogs, writing and fostering puppies for a local rescue.