Journaling: 5 Effective Techniques You Must Try!

Whether you’re doing it for self-reflection, to become more organised or for any other reason, journaling can be a super-beneficial habit to implement into your daily routine. Journaling has been used for centuries and is considered to be a life-changing activity that can improve various areas of your life from improving your mood, better immune functioning, to expanding self-awareness. There isn’t just one way to journal. Curious? Then follow on for Journaling: 5 Effective Techniques You Must Try!

1. Free Writing

Free writing is one the easiest forms of journaling. You set a timer for a length of time, usually ten minutes, and let your thoughts flow onto the page, continuously writing without pausing to think too much about what you’re writing.

Whether you’re describing your surroundings, concocting a new idea, it’s all about letting out whatever pops up in your head. Free writing can be incredibly helpful in identifying thoughts and feelings that you may not have been aware of and can allow you to express yourself and clear your mind without worrying about how polished you sound.

2. Dream Journaling

Keeping a dream journal is most effective when you write your dreams down as soon as you wake up, as they become more difficult to remember throughout the day.

It’s best to write down your dreams in as much detail as you can, where you’ll be able to pick out patterns and similar themes across your dreams, and interpret their meanings. Dream journals can be fun and insightful, giving you an opportunity to explore your deep, subconscious mind and boost your creativity.

Dream journaling also improves memory and brain functioning.

3. Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling is an incredibly useful organisation tool that includes brainstorming, writing to-do lists, reminders and schedules all in one creative space.

It’s great for keeping track of the important areas in life, everything you need to do and things you don’t want to forget. If this sounds like your kind of thing, check out the video down below for a more in-depth explanation of bullet journaling.

4. Reflection Journaling

A reflective journal is a great place to reflect on your day and past experiences. Reflection can help process events and analyse them, identifying areas for improvement and recognising your strengths.

It can also help you keep track of your goals and any habits you’re trying to establish. You could write about your relationships, career, personal life or anything you choose, and this technique can give you a better understanding of your thought processes.

5. Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journaling is thought to be one the most powerful forms of journaling. Studies have found amazing effects of keeping a gratitude journal twice a week, such as increasing happiness and productivity, whilst lowering stress.

Writing down the things you’re grateful for can keep you feeling optimistic and positive during harder times (like we’ve been having recently with the pandemic), and reminds you to appreciate the present moment and remember the good things in life.

The benefits of gratitude journaling can be enhanced by writing in detail what you’re thankful for, and vividly feeling your emotions that arise as you do so.

It’s not always easy to know where to start with journaling, but these effective techniques can make it so much easier. You don’t have to use them all, maybe get started with one or two that feel best for you and work from there.

Do you journal? What does it help you with most? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Shayo Audrey

Shayo is currently a 2nd year Psychology student at Warwick University, who is hoping to pursue a Masters in Nutrition. She is very passionate about health, the food we eat, and the link between physical and mental health. Her aim is to work in the nutritional field, combining nutrition with Psychology, focusing on how diet can impact mood, and behaviour, as well as the human body.

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