On the first day of July, I watched a video from Morgan Yates about how she journaled every day for an entire month. I, someone who uses their journal mainly for lists, got inspired and decided that it was time for me to take the challenge.
What does that mean? Well, from July 1-31, I would have to write at least one journal entry about my day, how I’m feeling that day, or recording a memory such as my birthday. I would typically journal in the morning right before I go to work, and then occasionally, I would go and write another journal entry at night.
Surprisingly, I did not find it stressful for me to make time to write my posts. I already use my Five Minute Journal in the morning, and all this did was add an extra five to ten minutes to my routine.
What I did not expect was how much I enjoyed it and how much this has now become a habit. I am a writer at heart, so it was a great way to practice making writing a larger part of my daily routine. But, what I did not expect was the fact that my journal became my safe space. Whenever I was having a bad day or feeling a certain way, I would journal and I would instantly feel better. When I was stressed out, I would write out why I was stressed out and I would feel significantly less stressed out post-journaling.
And, there are so many scientific benefits to journaling, according to an article on Positive Psychology entitled 83 Benefits of Journaling for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress. Some of them include: boost your mood/affect, enhance your sense of well-being, reduce symptoms of depression before an important event, and improve your working memory. The article goes onto say that it can do many other things, such as giving us the ability to put things in perspective, shift a mindset from the negative to a positive one, and help us become aware of unhealthy patterns. Journaling also has some benefits to your physical health as well. The article states that journaling lowers blood pressure, strengthen immune system, and helps with sleeping habits.
Over the month, I managed to fill out an entire notebook and a half. As I mentioned early, I have noticed that my stress levels have gone down, and I have just been in a better mood overall.
Now, that the month is over, I do see myself continuing this a habit since it’s already become so ingrained into my morning routine. I hope to work on getting more detailed in my journal entries by using some prompts throughout the month of August.
If you’re struggling to get into journaling, I highly recommend doing this challenge because it keeps you accountable. I found that it made it easy to get motivated to do, and then overtime, it became a habit that I didn’t even have to think about.