Writing things down by hand, in a daily journal planner, brings important benefits; many of which are linked to improving your mental health.
You’re no doubt familiar with the many benefits of list writing and work diaries. That’s not what we mean.
A daily journal adds a crucial extra dimension, including retrospective writing and techniques to make you happier.
Let’s start with a blank page, preferably in a lovely new journal or notebook. It can be incredibly liberating. You’re free to write whatever you want, as this is your own private space, with no limits and an audience of one – you!
Process your Day
A daily journal planner shouldn’t just be about the necessary evils of task and time management. Use the space to declutter your mind of lots of other little stuff too. If you need some tips to de-clutter your mind, why not try a bullet journal method?
List things that matter to you – grocery shopping lists, to-do lists, things you’d like to accomplish during your day and anything else that’s important to you. Use it as a daily planner, and include your thoughts and feelings on the things that affect your day.
Collect your Dreams and Goals
Daydreaming on paper and creating a ‘bucket list’ can be good for you, including healing you when life is getting ‘too much’. Why not create a vision board?
Note ideas and random ambitions that come to mind too. From such spontaneous musings comes a determination to make positive changes, and the beginnings of plans to help achieve your goals.
Increase your EQ
Journaling is a valuable tool to increase your ‘emotional intelligence’ or EQ.
Your daily journal is a wonderful way to vent, letting all your emotional responses flow on to the page either never to be read again or to look back on from a new perspective. Gratitude journaling alone has so many benefits as well and can strengthen your family bonds, faith, and self-awareness.
Why bottle up a bad day, or keep personal satisfaction to yourself? Writing it down can be very cathartic, which is why journaling is widely recommended by mental health professionals.
Write a letter to someone who has hurt or offended you, instead of chewing over what you’d like to say for hours.
Become a Better Person
You could expand your intellect with your journal, with a topic of research or new word or phrase ‘of the day’ to practice using in conversation or report writing.
Or, better still, include daily uplifting messages to improve your positivity. Keep track of things you want to improve or work on.
Writing in journals is a great way to practice mindfulness too. To relax you could craft a fiction piece, poem or observation about nature. Or just doodle! Doodling has been proven to be highly therapeutic.
One important ‘rule’ to finish with – there are no rules!
Writing in your daily journal could become second nature, but you don’t have to write every day, and there’s no limit on the amount you write either.