If you’re reading this article, you're already seriously considering starting journaling. That’s a great start! But, there are probably certain doubts and fears crossing your mind. Maybe you’re not sure how to begin, or you don’t think you’ve got what it takes to do it successfully. The truth is, anyone can embrace journaling with the right guidance and an open mind.
To help you overcome these initial obstacles and start journaling to embrace self-love and health, we've put together this ultimate guide. It contains 9 outstanding journaling tips for beginners such as yourself, so make sure to keep reading.
Here’s how to start journaling easily and confidently.
1. Think About the Benefits
To get yourself motivated and inspired, you should think or read about the amazing benefits of journaling. Journaling is great for your mental health and can work wonders for your emotional wellbeing.
This is because it comes with so many wonderful benefits:
- getting in touch with your emotions
- processing your feelings
- boosting self-confidence
- solving emotional problems with ease - gaining self-esteem
- dealing with tough moments and problems easily
- embracing life as it is
It may sound a bit abstract right now, but you'll see it once you get going. Talk to people who are actively journaling or read their experiences online. It'll help you decide to start journaling confidently.
2. Decide Between Digital or Writing
Different people have different journaling methods. It's all about fitting your needs and doing it the way you feel most comfortable.
That’s why, for starters, you need to think about which option you like better:
- journaling in a notebook using handwriting
- typing it in a digital format and saving it on your computer
Think about or try both versions to see which one you'll choose. Let this decision sink in for a couple of days and get ready to start.
3. Start Small
Since you’re new to journaling, you shouldn’t expect anything grand to come out of your mind at this stage. Your mind is still locked out and just getting ready to start opening up.
So, at first, focus on minor but meaningful entries:
- strong emotion you experienced that day
- an event that made you feel a certain way
- a concern on your mind
- the way you feel each morning
Short entries will get you warmed up for some more elaborate ones, and slowly guide you to being more open, self-loving, and freer in your journaling.
4. Attend to Your Needs
When you're journaling, you're actually listening to yourself and your emotional needs. That means that journaling is not an obligation. It's something that you should do to feel better.
So, make sure to remember:
- you’re not obliged to journal every day
- you’re not obliged to write down everything that’s happened to you
- you should journal when you feel like there’s something worth journaling about
In time, you'll start to recognize which events, emotions, or thoughts need more of your attention and should be processed in your journal.
5. Be Honest
Some things are difficult to process and hard to admit. Especially to yourself. But, the essence of writing a journal is dealing with your real emotions without holding anything back.
This is why you have to make a decision and stick to it. Be 100% honest with yourself while journaling.
Here are some facts to help you embrace honesty when journaling:
- nobody but you will read your journal
- honesty is the key to true balance, happiness, and disburdening
- there’s no right or wrong, there’s only how you feel and what you think
Sugarcoating your journal entries will take you nowhere. You won’t be able to successfully improve your mental health. Instead, be always honest and help yourself keep the journal more successfully.
6. Write in Peace
To truly reach the deepest parts of your mind and explore them freely, you’ll need to write in peace. Distractions such as other people in the room, noise, or unwelcoming surroundings may prevent you from journaling successfully.
That's why you should create the right journaling conditions which include:
- a secluded part of your house
- a time of day when it’s peaceful and quiet
- a spot by a lake or in a park
- removing all distractions
Choose when and where to write to help yourself feel comfortable and relaxed. This will significantly improve your journal entries and help you reach inside your mind and soul. Also, you'll be improving your writing skills in general. You can check out RushEssay or GetGoodGrade if you’d like writing experts to support your progress. So, whatever you’re writing, write in peace and focus on nothing but that.
7. Include Positivity
Some people think that writing a journal is just writing about your problems and negative emotions. However, journaling is so much more than that.
Journaling is about all your emotions and all your thoughts. Make sure that you include a lot of positivity in your journal. You can write about:
- what makes you happy - things you’re grateful for
- things you love about yourself
- something that made your day
- something you look forward to
Any of these things are more than welcome in your journal so don't miss out on writing them down. They'll remind you of the beauties in life and what makes yours so unique.
8. Don’t Overthink
Overthinking can be a huge obstacle for journaling beginners. You might catch yourself rethinking every word before you write it down and killing your honesty.
This is because you still haven't developed the skills to write as the thoughts are appearing in your mind. Instead, you're making pauses, thinking whether you should write it down or not.
Practice doing the opposite- writing without thinking. This will help you:
- write down how you truly feel
- avoid altering the truth, even subconsciously
Writing will help you shape your thinking, and guide it in the right direction. This will be extremely helpful for all your future journaling ventures, so practice it restlessly.
9. Look Back
After you’ve been actively journaling for a while, you should take a look back at your first entries to see how far you’ve come. Keeping track of the changes is helpful for you on different levels:
- you’ll see the progress in your journaling
- you’ll be motivated to keep going
- you’ll learn about yourself
Taking a look back at your previous entries will show you your personal progress, as well as your progress in journaling skills.
You may be intimidated to start journaling at first, but you’ll love it once you get started. All you need is determination and some patience for the bumpy beginning.
Hopefully, the tips we’ve listed above will guide you through your journaling beginnings and make it easy for you to fall in love with this therapeutic habit.
Author bio: Dorian Martin is a skilled content writer and a blogger, passionate about self-care and mental health. As an editor and proofreader, he works at RushEssay (check out this review), helping students with academic assignments. As a blogger, he aims at showing people how to take control of their health, build self-confidence, and work on self-love.