Yes, many people still use journals as a way to document their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Even though many think of it as being something of the past, many people still use it as a way to better understand themselves, their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and to work through things in life.
There have also been studies not too long ago that suggest some evidence on how journaling can actually help reduce stress and anxiety. So the topic of journaling is still very much being researched, and the practice is still being done.
While there are of course digital options to journaling, such as typing on your computer, or even using your phone and journaling apps, many people still prefer to use physical notebooks. The physical pen and paper just have a much different feeling to it. It slows your mind and thought process down much more, giving you the time to go through your thoughts and actually understanding them better.
There is some evidence to suggest that journaling can have a positive impact on a person's mental health and well-being. Studies have found that journaling can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance self-esteem. It can also be a helpful tool for processing and coping with difficult emotions and experiences.
Writing about one's thoughts and feelings can help people process and make sense of their experiences, which can lead to increased self-awareness and self-understanding. This, in turn, can help people feel more in control of their lives and may lead to increased feelings of happiness and well-being.
However, it is important to note that journaling is not a magic cure-all for happiness. It is just one tool among many that can be used to improve mental health and well-being. Different people will find different activities and practices helpful in promoting happiness. Some people may find that journaling is a helpful part of their self-care routine, while others may find other activities, such as exercise or spending time with loved ones, to be more beneficial.
There is no hard and fast rule about whether morning pages have to be handwritten or typed. Some people find that the physical act of writing by hand helps them to feel more connected to the process and to their thoughts, while others prefer the convenience and speed of typing. Ultimately, the best way to do morning pages is to find the way that works best for you. If you prefer to type, you can use a computer or your phone or tablet. If you prefer to write by hand, you can use a journal or notebook.
The important thing is to set aside time each morning to write, in what ever form that is, and to allow yourself to write freely without worrying about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. The goal is to get your thoughts and ideas down on paper, not to produce a polished piece of writing.
To start a daily journaling practice, choose a time of day that works best for you and find a comfortable and quiet space to write. Use a journal or notebook, and start by writing about the events of the day. Reflect and analyze your thoughts and feelings about the events, and be consistent by setting aside a regular time each day to write.
Here are some more tips for getting started:
- Set a specific time each day for journaling. This can help you make it a consistent habit. For example, you could choose to journal first thing in the morning, before bed, or at a specific time during the day.
- Choose a comfortable and quiet space to write. This could be a dedicated journaling spot in your home, a peaceful outdoor location, or a quiet corner of a library or coffee shop.
- Use a journal or notebook that you enjoy writing in. This could be a traditional bound journal, a loose-leaf notebook, or a digital journaling app. Choose something that feels comfortable and inspires you to write.
- Start by writing about the events of the day. This could include a general overview of what happened, or you could focus on a specific event or feeling. Don't worry about writing in complete sentences or having perfect grammar – the goal is to capture your thoughts and feelings.
- Reflect and analyze your experiences. After you've written about the events of the day, take some time to think about what you've written. What were your thoughts and feelings about the events? What did you learn from them? What goals do you have for the future?
- Be consistent with your journaling practice. Try to set aside a specific time each day to write in your journal. Consistency can help you get into the habit of journaling and make it a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.
There are quite a few things you can journal about in the morning, and different ways you can approach morning journaling also.
Here are a few ideas for morning journaling:
- Gratitude journaling: Starting your day by writing down a few things that you are grateful for is a great way to set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
- Goals and intentions: Setting goals and intentions for the day ahead is a great way to get focused and to stay on track throughout the day.
- Reflection journaling: Take a few minutes to journal about the previous day or week. What went well? What went according to plan, and what did not go according to plan? Is there anything you would have done differently? Understanding this in the morning can help you better focus the rest of the day on improving things and staying focused and mindful.
- Mindfulness journaling: This may sound like the simplest form of journaling, but it can also be one of the most beneficial. Take a few moments to write down things that you are experiencing right now. This could be things that you hear, things that you see, feelings in your body, how your clothes feel on you, or anything else you are experiencing. This helps you get into a mindful state, and to be more connected with the present moment.
There is no rule when it comes to morning journaling. There are a lot of different option. Try exploring them and try to find what works best for you.
Journaling may make you feel worse if you are focusing on negative thoughts, experiences, or emotions. You may also feel worse if you expect journaling to be a quick solution to your problems, since this is not really how journaling works.
Journaling, much like meditation, is a process. It takes time to actually feel the benefits, but when they come, they are very noticeable and can really bring a big change in your life.
While journaling can give you relatively quick benefits such as better understanding your thoughts and emotions and working through them, many times, this process will just take some time, and patience.
To better understand why journaling is not working for you, try to think about these things:
- What are your expectations from journaling, and are they realistic? Remember, journaling most likely will not provide an immediate solution to your problems.
- What are you focusing on when you are journaling? Do you mainly focus on negative things and cycle through them, or do you spend time on a specific thing and try to understand it in an attempt to grow from it?
- Is the kind of journaling you are doing right for you? There are different forms of journaling, such as gratitude journaling, and reflective journaling. Try to find the one that works best for you.
- Have you thought about professional help? Many people dismiss professional help out of embarrassment, or out of the fact that it is not very socially acceptable in many places. The truth is that everyone has problems in one way or another, and most people can seriously benefit from professional help.
Try to find the journaling method that is right for you and that works best for you, keep experimenting with it, and don't rule out seeking help.
It's never too late to start journaling. Journaling can make a difference for any age, regardless if you are in your teens, 20s, or 70s. The act of journaling is a personal one, it allows you to better understand yourself, and to help you solve and better understand your inner conflicts, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. These are all things we humans have at all ages of our lives and at any age, which is why it is never too late to start journaling.
In the beginning, it may feel a little bit strange to just sit and write what you are thinking, you may also not really find much to write about. This is expected. It's a normal reaction and feeling, especially if you have never really sat down to write about your thoughts before.
The key is to keep it simple and to keep it consistent. You do not have to write 3 pages each time, and you do not have to do it every single day. If you are not feeling it, don't force yourself to do it. If you have nothing to write about, or only have enough to cover half a page, don't force yourself to write a whole page.
The point of journaling is not how much you can write about something, but what you write about.
If you do not have access to a notebook, and you are comfortable typing on your phone, then you generally can journal on your phone, though, it is recommended to do it in an actual notebook.
One of the main reasons against journaling on phones is due to distractions. It is incredibly easy to get distracted with things related to our phones. Even if we put it in airplane mode and turn off all notifications, the fact that we are actively holding and using our phones for something is a doorway to distractions that can take you away from journaling.
Not to mention that typing for a while on a phone can get very frustrating for many people. Constantly having to erase what was written because you accidentally touched the wrong letter is also distracting, demotivating, and a cause of major frustration. It can just take you away from your train of thought and cause you to lose focus.
One of the greatest benefits of writing in an actual journal is the effect it has on the speed we think. Our minds are constantly racing from thought to thought, not really giving us enough time to actually focus on a single thought long enough to actually understand it well enough. Journaling, in the pen and paper form, causes us to slow our minds down in order to write down our thoughts, allowing us the time to process them, explore them, and understand them better.
To journal, you don't really have to write a lot, and what you write doesn't have to be correctly spelled or grammatically correct. The goal is to just write down what ever is in your mind to try and help you understand it better.
What you write is intended for you, and not for any kind of presentation, so even if you do not like writing, or you think what you write is not good, it doesn't matter, because it is for you.
Some people who are new to journaling tend to go a little bit over the top and write whole pages, sometimes because they actually have things to write about, other times, because they think they need to keep writing and fill up a whole page or two. There is no specific amount of words or pages that you need to write to journal. Even writing something as short as "Today was a good day" can be enough to capture what you are feeling and want to write down in that moment. So don't think that you have to write a lot to make journaling work for you.