The process of writing our thoughts, feelings and emotions down can help us understand them more. Having an awareness of our feelings and emotions is one way to help manage stress, anxiety or depression.

I like to think of journaling as a way of prompting some self reflection, being aware of my emotions and feelings within the environment I am in. It's also a way to remind myself what I am grateful for.

Journaling - Tips to getting started

  1. Take the first step - give yourself a few minutes a day to write your journal
  2. Get into a routine - try to find a regular time to write your journal. I find writing at the end of day works for me (it also helps me get to sleep, in a positive mindset). Other people like journaling in the morning - do what works for you
  3. Use what works for your - a notebook, your phone or laptop; ultimately something you are going to use and is accessible to you
  4. Try journaling in different environments - it may give you a different perspective
  5. Allow yourself to write anything that comes to mind - don't put an constraints on what you want to write about - after all they are your thoughts and emotions. Don't hold back!
  6. Provide some context to explain your feelings - what happened and what are your thoughts and feelings about it
  7. What have you learned and how can you apply this going forward
  8. Try to empathise - think about what another person is going through that may explain their actions, feelings or emotions
  9. Use the journal to set goals, that you can track your progress to
  10. Write a journal that works for you- using lists or sketches
  11. Journal what you want to - food, fitness, experiences, gratitudes, feelings or emotions
  12. Don't wallow or self blame - it's good to vent but the positivity of journaling comes from brainstorming solutions or noting down what you are grateful for.
  13. It's your safe place - your journal is a place for your thoughts
Having started journaling you may start to identify triggers to certain emotions whilst also give you the opportunity to start finding ways to manage both emotions but also the triggers that have caused them. Similarly, you can use journaling to provide focus or prioritization to areas that may need addressing.