Photo: Life In An Image

I honestly was not into it. The mere thought of adding another task to my already busy life overwhelmed me. I also had the impression that keeping a journal was only for people that wanted to document important dates, memories and deep realizations. No thanks- I do not have time for boring and time consuming tasks.  

It wasn’t until I took a positive psychology course in college, that I learned the importance and benefits of writing things down. This class sparked my interest in keeping a daily journal and through the years, I have learned to love and appreciate this daily practice. There are a ton of benefits to keeping a journal. For the purposes of keeping this blog short, I will share three benefits that I have experienced first-hand and continue to inspire me to write daily in my journal.

  1. Foster Creativity and Improve Self-Esteem.
  2. Clarify Thoughts, Feelings, Ideas and Goals.
  3. Reduce Stress and Anxiety. 

Cute right? Now, you might have some questions: What do I journal about? When is it best to put pen to paper? Where should I journal? Do not worry, I have got you!

Just like anything that you do for the very first time, journaling is going to feel awkward and unfamiliar at first, but stick with it. New habits take a little to solidify but once they do, they become instinctual and second nature- kind of like brushing your teeth. There is no right or wrong way to journal. You have to experiment with what works best for you. Some of my favorite ways to journal are to set a 5 minute timer and just write down what’s on my mind. Use this like a mind dump. Write down how you feel, what is worrying you, what you are grateful for, what you have to do that day, what you want to accomplish, what inspires you, how you want to serve the world, this is your canvas, anything is fair game. 

I personally like my journaling to be more structured and nothing over 5 minutes. I start off by listing 3 things I am grateful for in the moment. For example: Today I am grateful for my healthy and strong body. Starting your journaling exercise with gratitude will evoke good feelings as you honor and celebrate what you are giving thanks for. Then I list 3 things that I want to accomplish (long term or short term) in the present tense. An example of this is: I am a New York Times Best Selling Author. This is important, you want to declare these goals as if they are happening right now. This technique will influence your subconscious mind and will help you stay focused when it comes to accomplishing your goals. Lastly, I write down 3 affirmations. Something that is cute, positive and uplifting. Some examples of this are: I am worthy of love, I am enough, I am a magnet for abundance. Once again they are written in the present tense to flood your subconscious with positive and deliberate thinking and override the negative and self-destructive dialogue. When should you journal? I prefer to do it first thing in the morning after a short meditation. I find that this works best for me as my mind is rested. I have also experimented with doing it at the end of the day and it works well too. Regardless of when you do it, assure that it doesn’t become a chore, or something you “have” to do but something you “get” to do.

Happy journaling,

Gustavo Padron is a Yoga + Meditation Instructor, a Personal Trainer, an Avid Runner and a Content Creator. He enjoys sharing his passion for health and wellness with the world  and is committed to delivering thought-provoking and inspiring content as a contributing writer for 365 Things Austin. 

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