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JOURNALING 101: The What, Why, How & Where of WRITING

Aren’t we all inquisitive souls? We all have plenty of questions. Think of the questions that have been bothering you lately, something as small as not brewing a good tea today! Big or small, we try finding the answers to such questions either in our Google searches or throwing them out at the world.

How do you find the answers to the questions that the universe cannot answer?

It’s easy. You look within. There are so many things around us and within us that are troublesome. Writing not only helps us understand what is bothering us but also take us to its cause and finally a solution.

Let’s decode the process of journaling one by one:

What is journaling and how will it help you?

By definition, journaling is the act of writing or recording well…anything. It holds significance in everyone’s life at various levels and means many things but, the essence remains the same. Journaling has various benefits which are scientifically proven too. It has proven to be a powerful tool for reflecting on our experiences. To list a few:

- Clear thinking

- Better mental health

- Clear communication

- Better sleep and great mornings

- Self-confidence

These are just a few among countless other benefits. As James W. Pennebaker, a social psychologist said there isn’t one answer. “It’s a whole cascade of things that occur.”

What to write?

This a question we all have faced if we have ever thought of writing. There is only one rule: there are no rules. Write what you feel or things you are grateful for or even a line from the book you read or the movie you watched. Write down random thoughts even if it is a conversation you overheard in the metro. Just be sure it is true to you. Pour out your darkest and brightest thoughts. Use any tool, from newspaper bits, dry leaves or a simple blue pen. The expression is what that matters.

How to journal?

As we said there are various methods to do this. Inspirations are just a click away. Social media has set a standard in aesthetics, FYI you don’t have to follow that. Before you start this process please forget what the world does.

Yes, those bullet journals on Instagram are beautiful but time-consuming to replicate. By all means buy a fancy diary if that’s your thing. But if you find it easier to write on Word Doc, a company diary or just record your voice, do that. This is a personal act. It should reflect your soul, not that of the Instagram blogger.

Here are 7 tips to get you started:

1. Start small: You don’t have to write pages together unless you want to. Even if you write a few lines or paste a few things, that’s fine!

2. To hell with grammar: You do not have to create perfect sentences. Write in Hinglish or just scribble your raw emotions carelessly as if the paper is your best friend.

3. Use apps: There are apps protected with password specifically designed for journaling. If you find taking the journal around tedious, this is a great alternative.

4. Set a reminder: Setting apart some time every day will help you develop this habit. You can give titles accordingly like “Morning pages”, “Late-night thoughts” or “Teatime banter”, you get the drift.

5. Create rituals: Be sure to include one constant piece every time you make an entry, it could be 3 things you are grateful for or something new you observed that day. It is these small things that remind you of the good in your life. Do not force yourself on days where you just want to rant.

6. It is not a calendar: You do not have to make an entry every day. It can be a weekly affair or something you do when you feel stressed. Just make sure you do it because you want to, not because you have to.

7. Track something: It could be some habit, the song that reflects your mood for the day or a new word you learnt that day. This will give you the motivation to continue.