Why Start a Journal: Guidelines, Benefits and Types

Journaling is a practice that has become a very popular trend with people in the last couple of years and it has been incorporated as daily habit in persons lives.  Today I will be discussing guidelines for journaling, its benefits  and types of journaling, for those of you who are interested in starting and/or developing this habit.


  • Find a notebook and pen that you enjoy using to help motivate you to get started.
  • Select and set up in a quiet and comfortable area away from other persons.
  • Limit distractions such as the television, phone and other devices.
  • Schedule a time of day, morning, evening or both that will give you the most time to write.
    • Morning pages – another form of journaling should preferable done as soon as possible when you wake up in the morning for the best effect.
    • Reflection – should be performed at the end of you day as part of your unwinding process.
  • Decide what type of journal you want to have. This will influence what you write about.
  • Write naturally. Remember it’s your own personal documentation that no one is going to see, unless you chose to show them, so express yourself however you want.
    • Don’t be to troubled by  going against the rules of grammar, sentence structure or punctuation unless you chose to. You can even include drawings and colour. Whatever works for you.
  • Prepare your mind to journal. Light candles, play music, meditate or take a deep breathe to create the right frame of mind.
  • Date and maybe timestamp your entries.
  • Start writing, write quickly and keep writing. Focus on writing what you are thinking and not thinking about what to write. Ignore your inner critic.
  • Write your truth. Be honest with yourself.
  • Give yourself time to balance yourself and reflect after your journaling experience.

Benefits of Journaling

  • Boosts your creativity
  • Provides clarity and insight
  • Provides a safe place to express emotions and let go of negative thoughts
  • Enhances yourself awareness of self. Learn about your thoughts, emotions, behaviours, fears, values and triggers.
  • Track your progress and growth over time
  • Reduces rumination
  • Promote proactivity and goal setting
  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
  • Assists in the recovery or healing of major life events or trauma
  • Boosts your moods and life experience especially through gratitude writing.
  • Helps you to recuperate from daily stresses and let go of trivial matters
  • Documents your life, key lessons and insights
  • Develops your writing skills
  • Aid in conflict resolution: you can write out tough discussions and the pros and cons of future actions
  • Plan and schedule events and daily life

Types of Journals

  • Gratitude journal –  this a log of all the things you are grateful for in your life. You can do this at the end of the day or the start of the next day and list one, two, three things that you are grateful for, that day or the previous day. This helps to cultivate a sense of appreciation in your life.
  • Personal journal –  this the traditional journal, documenting your life, thoughts, feelings or whatever else comes to mind.
  • Bullet journal – is a list based method for persons who creates a lot of list. Store all you to- do list, grocery list, goals, notes and habits in one place.
  • Dream journal – document your dreams so that you can remember and analyse them.
  • Art journal – include drawings, paintings, pictures and your experience with art.
  • Reading journal – a place to keep track of books you’ve read and want to read, your opinions and any lessons learned.
  • Travel journal – write about your experience as you visit to new places or countries, meet new people and explore new cultures.

Journaling can be an amazing experience and the great is that is tailored specifically for your lifestyle and needs. There are so many journaling options for you to explore and with benefits to each. I hope this post provides with the resources needed to begin your own journaling journey.

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Thank you for reading.



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4 Replies to “Why Start a Journal: Guidelines, Benefits and Types”

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