I have been thinking a lot lately about journaling - not the diary sort of thing - but the way to write for your mental health. It sounds so simple and yet it can be so effective - helping with our self-doubts, our negativity about ourselves. I thought I would just write to let you know how to do start
First buy a journal that you really want to hold and write in, plus a pen that feels comfortable where you want to put pen to paper - ahh, now you see my stationery love. But it does not have to be a hard copy journal - you can use a word document or anything that you like to use. Just make sure it gives you pleasure to use.
Now look at your normal week and decide whether you are going to write daily or what - plan it into your week - what time, how long for. Don't make it a chore. Enjoy the process, the flow.
Ok so now you know when you want to journal now think about where you are going to do it - it could be a bedroom or you might decide that being in a café is a way of getting out and rewarding yourself at the same time as allowing that time for the words to flow - noise helps to keep you on track and not let your thoughts wander into the negativity that stops us from going with it. you could be on a bus going to or from work, obviously dont try it whilst you are driving yourself!
Remember whatever you choose get into a regular routine and it does not have to be daily, decide how many times a week and stick to it, if the pattern has to change then don't beat yourself up. 10 to 15 minutes each time is all you need.
Look at journaling prompts for example Psychologies suggested:
• What you are thinking now
• A concern you have
• The view from your window
• The best job you ever had
And sometimes it will be ok just to write one word - its your journal - its your feelings, your thoughts.
Other prompts could be if you are having a bad day and full of negative thinking - you could write about that and be that Detective - are your thoughts based on fact or opinion remember not all our thoughts are the truth, look for your evidence for and against and I bet you will find there is a lot more against your negative thought than for. Think about what you would tell a friend if they were thinking that thought. Add it into your journal. by writing it down we start to see things clearly
Dont forget one of the greatest, strongest things is to look at what you are grateful for and list them, three would do to start with. What happened during the week or day that gave you that feeling like you wanted to hug yourself. I love watching snails and understanding just how important they are to our ecosystem and then to our own survival Life is amazing
And I haven't even mentioned Self Love. how can we be good for others if we can not love ourself - I don't mean being pompous or conceited I mean knowing ourselves and respecting who we are - think about these prompts
What is one think you admire about yourself? What do you like about it?
what is one thing you will forgive yourself for this week?
Write down any compliments you have received this week and think about how they made you feel
is there a challenge you are dealing with right now and what are you learning from it - are you concentrating on the solution rather than the problem
what is it that makes you unique - loveable, admirable - a real friend etc
what do you really love to do and how can you do more of it
To see more about starting to journal for mental health have a read of the Psychologies article https://www.psychologies.co.uk/how-to-start-journaling-mental-health/