For those who are wondering how and why to start a journal, here a few helpful journaling ideas. Journaling is a discipline and takes practice. For some, journaling comes very easy and for others, it can start off as a form of torture. I love to write, and find it very relaxing. My husband never saw his need for journaling, until his car was hit by a drunk driver and he had to heal from sudden brain trauma. Several of his professional counselors advised him to journal. I was able to witness the profound effect journaling had on my husband. Recently, the process of journaling has become a hot topic as we are experiencing a worldwide pandemic. So once again, I was able to witness the power of journaling. Here are a few of the reasons I encourage people to journal:
- Use journaling to set your mind. Handwriting on paper is connected with your emotions. Studies show that writing in your own handwriting means the content is retained, it feels more personal and, therefore, has an emotional impact that is simply not there when using technology. Beginning and ending each day with clear intentions, a positive focused mindset and conscious reflection helps you be more effective. During the covid-19 pandemic, my husband and I both had to work at home and my daughter had to complete her senior year of high school from her bedroom. I found that my mind and emotions were constantly racing and it was extremely difficult to remain focused and productive. I decided to go back to my former journaling practices to get my thoughts under control. I started a journal for my business and a second journal to work through emotions and to help me continually reset my mind.
- Use a beautiful and special journal. You are going to be spending a lot of time with your new friend, so enjoy! I purchase journals that keep my thoughts organized, but also make me happy every time I pick them up. Erin Condren has some really beautiful spiral notebooks. I love that you can have them personalized!
I also made sure to have an assortment of pens, mechanical pencils and gel pens to help me write in a creative way and keep me motivated! I personally do not doodle in my journals. I prefer to just focus on the words I am writing so using different color pens helps me highlight thoughts that are extra important.
3. Keep a work/business journal. For my work, I already was using the Legend Planner. After researching and trying different planners, I found this one worked best for me. It combines my schedule, to-do lists, goals and journaling spots all in one place. I love the size and all the different options to help me reach my goals. Earlier in the year, I had not really put all the tips and tools to use. However, with the shelter in place order, I saw the need to calm my scattered brain and stay productive. So…. I made the time to use all the prompts and lists.
4. Mindfulness helps with self-awareness. Without self-awareness it’s impossible to see your blindspots and grow. According to a recent study, 95% of people believe they are self-aware, in reality, the number is closer to 10-15%. In addition to journaling, I began practicing mindfulness. I found that they work extremely well together. In my journal I record positive affirmations so I can easily go back to them. Keeping them recorded all in one place helps my recall when I am beginning to get overwhelmed. It also helps me stay more self-aware. It can help to use a focused journal with bullet points. This one by Erin Condren is reasonable in price and I find 5×8 inch size is ideal for tracking tasks & performance, bullet journaling, note-taking, list-making and more.
5. Journaling helps decrease stress. Whether starting my day by journaling, taking a break to journal when feeling overwhelmed or ending my day with journaling, I have found that it helps decrease my stress. In my midst of battling with my mind, many times I DO NOT want to stop myself and choose journaling. So before I go down my emotional spiral, I remind myself of how much journaling has helped me in the past. I keep the journal out in a place where I see it and grab it at a moment’s notice.
6. Gratitude journaling/Thanksgiving journaling works. As I am a firm believer in the bible, I will repeat the bible verse “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 I find that by stopping and writing out what I am thankful for, helps calm me and puts things into perspective.
7. Pass it on. Share your love for journaling with others. This year for graduation gifts, I decided to give custom journals. I had already designed and ordered the journals a few weeks prior to the outbreak of the virus. Little did I know how timely these gifts would become.
May you find peace and joy in your journaling! Cheers, Brigitte Baer of Baer Design Studio
I have decided to make the artwork I designed for these journals available for purchase through the Baer Design Studio website. The name and event will be edited for you and it comes with a proof.
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