Journaling – How to start and create a new habit to support your wellbeing

by Abigail Jane
Journaling - How to start and create a new habit to support your wellbeing
Journaling can promote wellbeing

What exactly is journaling?

Journaling is the act of keeping a record of your personal thoughts, feelings, insights, and more. Very Well Health explains it here: ”As a child, you may have kept a secret diary recording what happened daily, various milestone events, or your innermost thoughts. Journaling as a therapeutic activity is different than keeping a diary. Instead of recording events, it is a way to express and process your thoughts and emotions around specific events.”

Why is it good for you?

There are a number of reasons why writing is beneficial. According to BBC Bitesize, “Self-expression through journaling allows us to focus our mind and thoughts in a similar way to meditation, and put them into perspective.” It can quieten the inner chatter of the mind which can create space for clearer thinking and creative problem solving.

It can help us to work out what is within our control and what is outside of our control. This can reduce overthinking, anxiety and overwhelm.

Regularly monitoring your energy levels and mood by journaling can be really useful for identifying what makes you stressed, or anxious.

Journaling can help us keep a record of what went well in the day and boost our self esteem and confidence. Noting the little wins can make a big difference. We can also look back on events and recall what we did, how we coped and what strategies worked well in the past. This can build resilience.

Many people find writing in a journal a great way to switch off from screens and wind down or start their day in a focussed and mindful way.

Journaling can also help us to plan for the future and set small steps to move forward towards our goals. As a coach, I frequently suggest my clients try writing regularly and include a Head Plan financial or wellness journal as part of my life coaching package.

Incorporating writing into a daily routine can be simple and effective

How to get started with journaling

You will need a note book and pen to begin with. This can be a simple note book, or you can get a journal especially created with prompts and sections for reflections, goal planning and recording your actions.

Put your journal and pen somewhere you will see it. This will serve as a visual reminder. Perhaps next to your bed if you want to start writing as part of your morning or bedtime routine, or on your desk if this is a place you visit each day.

Set aside some time to write. Start small to begin with, and then you can build up if you wish to. Setting a reminder on your phone can be helpful until you have embedded the habit. You may wish to ‘habit stack’ journaling on top of an activity you already do each day such as eating breakfast or after taking a shower. Again, this can help you embed your writing into your regular routines.

Journaling with Abigail Jane Coaching

Use prompts to get you thinking and make writing easier. See below for some ideas to get you started.

Draw simple pictures/doodles – you could track your mood by using smiley (or not) faces! Stickers, colours, highlighters – you can get as creative or keep it as simple as you like.

Just one word might be all that comes sometimes and that is ok. It’s not about how much you write, but what it means to you.

Journal prompts to get you started

  • What are three things you’re grateful for, and why?
  • Think about how you feel in terms of energy levels – What is your battery charge? (Write down the percentage it feels like from 1-100%)
  • What one thing do you need to do more of and why?
  • What would you like to let go of from today?
  • What were the best and worst parts of your day?
  • Describe something you love about yourself and something you’re working on.
  • Using all five senses, write about where you are right now.
  • What animal do you feel like today? Draw it or doodle it – or write about what it looks like and how it’s behaving.
Abigail-jane-coaching-life-coach-bristol

Hi I’m Abi

professional life coach and career coach in Bristol. I work remotely anywhere in the UK and in person for locally based clients.

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