I haven't always been a journaler. This is actually a pretty knew thing for me. I've tried and tried to journal in the past, but it never seemed to work out like I wanted. And then I discovered the secret--it doesn't have to be perfect.
I'm a perfectionist. I want things clean and neat and in place exactly how they should be. But journaling became a chore when I treated it like something that needed to be organized and cohesive. A journal is a collection of your thoughts, a stream of consciousness, and a messy representation of everything you are feeling. If you continually try to stick your writing into a rigid layout/plan/schema like I did in the past, then you won't be able to experience the true benefits of journaling.
Journaling has allowed me to feel more at calm when I have a busy day. It lets me yell out my feelings without anyone being near. Tons of people and doctors will tell you that journaling is good for your soul. No matter what you're struggling with, journaling can assist you with feeling those feelings, making yourself happy and more calm, and really just becoming a better you.
What to journal.
Literally anything. I chose to set a time to journal every day in the evening where I just clear my mind of ANYTHING that I think will keep me up at night. It relieves my anxiety for the evening and make me sleep so much better. I also choose to not separate my writing into paragraphs or ever erase even if I make a mistake. Journaling shouldn't be about good grammar or getting things right.
Everyone's journal is unique to them. But once you get past the idea of what to journal and the desire to make it perfect and pretty, you will really start to feel the benefits of spewing out your thoughts. Getting your journal dirty, crinkling up the pages, and marking in black ink all of the darn thing is actually really wonderful. How often do you get to just make a mess of something?? It's your journal--do what you want!
Why to journal.
To clear your head, to remember, to have a creative outlet. Those are the three main reasons that I would suggest journaling. Like I've mentioned over and over again, journaling has truly helped me improve my mental stability. No more crazy Sheba (aka the psycho alter-ego S thinks I have) moments where I become angry at the world, and no more sad PMS-like moments where I just feel like crying for no reason. I have a journal to let all of those feelings out.
It also helps me remember. I can flip back in my journal and see that list I made the other day, what I did last week when I was feeling stressed, or even what I ate the last time I got a stomach flu. Journals are like memory keepers, and I plan to keep my forever.
Finally, it gives me another creative outlet. It seems like I have so many ways to express myself lately. But typing a blog, writing and doodling in a journal, vlogging, and social media seem to make me happy and content. Everyone has their need to just get their creative juices flowing from time to time, and journaling can help you achieve that need for creativity no matter what you desire.
Where to journal.
Now that I've convinced you that you just need to be journaling. you're ready to pick out a journal. I would suggest choosing something you absolutely love to touch and flip through and lug around with you. My favorite journal is a pocket size Moleskine with grid paper and a soft cover. I love bending it and making it all rugged and filling the entire thing up. Just make sure its something that you love no matter what it looks like.
Share your journals with me on Instagram!! I'd love to see how you fill yours up, make it messy, and truly express yourself on the paper.