I’ve never been a “journal” person. Although I loved receiving pretty notebooks as a child, I didn’t have the patience or interest in detailing my every whim and desire as others I knew did. As an adult, my disinterest in keeping a journal has not waned, but as a writer, I did implement a practice often referred to as “morning pages,” where I take 15 minutes every morning to clear my head and write down whatever comes to mind. (Yes, I get that this is basically journaling…). Not surprisingly, I struggled to consistently do my morning pages, just as I had struggled as a child to journal every day.
However, I recently read that journaling has significant health benefits including decreasing symptoms of serious diseases such as arthritis, improving cognitive functioning and strengthening the immune system, in addition to the more obvious benefit of reducing stress. This got me to thinking –perhaps I needed to take journaling more seriously and make it a priority in my life. As a busy entrepreneur, wife and mother, I can use any stress reliever I can find.
So, I went in search one day for the perfect notebook to start my journaling practice, and quickly realized it was right in front of me! Antiquaria’s Note to Self Notebook, which is included in our Indulgence Gift Set and several of our Small Gestures sets, is perfect for daily journaling because it’s lightweight, small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed to fill really long pages, and thin enough that you can throw it in your purse or keep next to your bed without taking up too much space.
Over the last two weeks I’ve made journaling a priority (I managed to stick to it for 10 out of the 14 days!) and am already seeing benefits. Here are just a few of the ones I’ve experienced.
My stress level is reduced.
Thankfully, the whole reason for starting this journaling thing isn’t just a hoax. I found that getting my thoughts out every evening (I chose to journal before bed every night) actually did help me reduce my stress. It gave me the chance to write down things that were bothering me or that I was trying to work through, so that they weren’t swirling around in my head. In turn, this made me feel less stressed, because with these thoughts in my journal and not in my head, I was carrying a lighter burden around.
It forced me to unplug.
Because I chose to do my journaling before bed, instead of scrolling aimlessly through my phone, I was instead scribbling frantically in my notebook. As a result, my phone got shut off earlier in the evening, and by unplugging earlier, I found my mind quieted down and I felt more relaxed.
I was happier.
Writing down my thoughts and allowing time for reflection helped me to focus on what I have in my life, and not on what I don’t. It paved the way for me to see the good amidst all of the struggle and stress. And because it gave me an outlet to write down everything that was bothering me, I was able to “throw away” my anxieties and negative thoughts by putting them in my notebook. As a result, my mind was clearer and able to focus on positive, happier thoughts.
Although I will admit that the chances of me consistently journaling every day are slim, I’ve spent the last two weeks making an effort to pull out that cute little notebook every chance I can get and I’m hooked on the benefits. I’d love to know –do you journal? Does it help you de-stress? What are some of your tips to stick with it consistently?