Hello and welcome to the blog.
It's Masha here from Masha Plans and today I want to talk about a little something that’ll help you in these times on quarantine and social distancing.
What is this magical thing you ask? It’s journaling!
Journaling is a very simple practice that is available to anyone. It doesn’t require any skills or special supplies.
At the same time, it’s one of the most powerful techniques to help your mental health, which is especially important during these times when the levels of anxiety and fear are skyrocketing.
To start journaling you just need a pen and a notebook. Then you just sit and write. It’s all so simple that it’s hard to believe how helpful this technique can be.
That’s why today we are starting from the benefits of journaling.
5 POWERFUL BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
I first started journaling when I was a teenager and believe me it really helped me through all the difficulties of that age group.
I’ve been journaling on and off since then, but eventually, things got well and I found different ways to organize myself.
But things change. Pandemic covered the worlds and I got stuck in a different country far away from the hubby, who is my life.
You can imagine it’s pretty tough and I needed something extra to help me mentally deal with the problem. This is when I went back to journaling - the practice that was so helpful to me before.
These are all the ways journaling has helped me.
When stressed or having mental issues, your thoughts are the first ones to get crazy. They are all over the place and it creates just more anxiety.
Organizing your thoughts helps you to find more balance in yourself, as well as make you feel like you can control things. I think this is one of the crucial things to feel now when it seems like we are helpless.
By writing down your thoughts you’ll be able to work on them, organize them, accept them and start working on getting rid of the negative ones.
By writing down your feelings and whatever situations you’re facing, you’ll feel so much relief.
Now you have it all on paper, you don’t have to keep it in your head and go over it again and again.
By journaling you essentially a brain dump your stress factors on paper, which helps to calm down and deal with it one thing at a time.
Life is going so fast, there are so many things happening that often we don’t even think about taking time to reflect and learn from the situations we face.
By journaling, you push yourself to stop, take a breath and access your day and everything happening in your life.
This is extremely valuable and will help you a lot with personal development and avoiding the same mistakes in the future.
These days when we are quarantined, self-reflection means finding happy things each day. There are still wonderful things happening, you just need to see them.
For me it’s small things like delicious food, having a backyard and drinking coffee outside in the morning. And most importantly - knowing that my whole family is safe and staying healthy.
Journaling can really bring out your hidden creativity gem! You just need to allow it to happen.
We have thousands of thoughts and ideas each day, but undocumented they just float out of our heads and get forgotten.
If you start journaling and putting these thoughts on paper you’ll be able to discover some amazing ideas there, that will, in turn, spark you to be more creative.
SET AND ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
Ok this is a strange one to see on this list but just go with it, it’ll all be clear.
When we set out goals, we often set the wrong ones. There are people around boasting about their goals, there are social expectations and of course certain demands from our own families.
So often we’d set a goal without really realizing that it’s not something we want and are passionate about.
Journaling can totally help you with that! When you journal you put yourself to the pages, so you’ll be able to see what are actually things you want. Try one of the techniques we’ll discuss below and dig these real desires out of your brain.
Before we start with the prompt, I wanted to go through a technique called freewriting. It is one of my favorite ways to journal and it really helps unlock hidden feelings and ideas.
Moreover, it can help you find solutions. In the end, you know the answers to many things, they are often just hidden inside and you need some help to find them. Freewriting will help you with that.
Here are some tips for freewriting.
- Use a pen and paper. Or if you prefer digital - iPad and Apple Pencil (or any other digital pen). Don’t use a computer. Typing doesn’t affect us as strongly as writing, it’s more mechanical and you won’t get that much out of it.
- Have a fixed amount of time or pages you’ll write and stick to it. Never pause or take your pen off the paper. If you’re feeling stuck just write something like “I have to write but I don’t know what to … “ eventually you’ll pick it up and might discover some interesting feelings and ideas.
- Don’t censor yourself. Your journal is just for you, you’re not going to show it to anyone. So don’t limit yourself or try to censor what you say. Let it all flow on the paper.
Even if you choose a freewriting technique, you still might need a prompt to get you started, especially if it’s your first time journaling. So here are some prompts.
- Things that make me smile
- The words I’d like to live by
- What do I love about my life
- Something I’m proud of
- My biggest accomplishment and why it matters so much to me
- How would I describe myself to a stranger
- Thank you letter to my biggest supporter
- What makes me feel confident
- What was my childhood dream and why
- What I’m grateful for
- What’s going on with me right now
- What’s not working for me
This should be enough to get you started and get into a habit of daily journaling.
I hope you’re staying safe!
And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and it’s ok to be a blob if you need to.