4 journaling techniques guaranteed to boost your wellbeing

4 journalling techniques to increase your wellbeing
4 journalling techniques to boost your wellbeingJohner Images - Getty Images

If you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, journaling could provide the relief you need. Not only is journaling an excellent way to outwardly express thoughts and emotions, but it also helps you to clear your head, calm down and feel more in control.

The self-reflection that journaling provides can also make us feel more at ease with ourselves by helping us to identify patterns in our mood and behaviour – and help us plan better to prepare for future stress triggers.

Journaling is an accessible form of self-care that just about anyone can do. Plus, 2018 research shows that writing down our deepest feelings and thoughts can improve our physical and psychological wellbeing.

Keep reading to discover four different journaling techniques from happiful.com that are guaranteed to give your wellbeing a boost.

Say goodbye to notes strewn around the house. Invented by Ryder Carroll in 2013, bullet journaling allows you to consolidate all your to-do lists, plans and goals in one notebook. Consider it a planner, diary and checklist all in one. You can plan your meals, track your exercise goals and keep tabs on life admin. In fact, whatever you document is entirely up to you and your imagination.

"A bullet journal isn’t something you buy already templated," explains Brigitt Earley (writer, editor and craft stylist). "Instead, you purchase a blank or dot grid journal and create something unique to you and your goals. The contents of your journal—and just how involved you make it—is entirely up to you."

Bullet journals are an effective tool for monitoring mental health as you can use them to create daily habit and mood trackers.

Happiful.com say: "Draw a table split into 28–31 days, depending on the number of days in the month, and check off each day whenever you do something you want to encourage yourself to do.

"For example, drink eight glasses of water, get some exercise, eat a healthy lunch, call a friend, etc. You can find lots of inspiration for ways to monitor your mental health with a bullet journal on Pinterest and YouTube as well."

If you're guilting of hoarding clutter in an attempt to hold onto memories, junk journaling could be the one for you. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with 'stuff', use a journal to group together and store your most prized memorabilia – be it concert tickets, photos or receipts.

"Find those small bits and pieces that you’re keeping stashed around your home – such as cinema tickets, receipts, photos, labels, and other mementoes – and glue or Sellotape them into a junk journal," says happiful.com.

"Alternatively, if an item is double-sided or something that you might want to pull out one day, glue an envelope into your junk journal and place the item inside the envelope for safe-keeping. Now you don’t have to throw away any good memories, but you won’t have clutter piling up all over the place either."

By creating a junk journal you avoid anxiety-triggering clutter whilst also feeling more organised - a win-win, we think.

You guessed it, a vision book is the journaling equivalent of a vision board. Sometimes our plans, dreams and goals can be hard to pinpoint, so the purpose of a vision board is to visually represent them in one collated place.

Not only is creating a vision book a fun, creative activity, but it can also help us to identify exactly what we're longing for or feel like we're missing. It can also serve as a reminder of what already makes us happy, and help us to feel more grounded. If you're working towards a particular goal or milestone, a vision book can help us lay out the steps to get there.

"To create your vision book, find an A4 or A5 notebook and start writing down your dreams," says happiful.com. "Cut out pictures or headlines from newspapers or magazines and stick them into the notebook to create a collage of inspiring images for you to look at whenever you feel like you need to be grounded."

"A gratitude journal can be a great way to maintain your mental health, particularly when you’re struggling with low mood or anxiety,' says happiful.com. "The reason for having a gratitude journal is to encourage you to write down a daily note expressing positivity, putting any intrusive, negative thoughts to one side."

You don't have to think of anything huge either - you can express gratitude for anything from the sun shining to a good cup of coffee with your breakfast. In fact, gratitude journals encourage us to find the small but positive moments in life, rather than larger moments and milestones.

Try and find three things a day to note down in your gratitude journal - you might be surprised at how much there is to celebrate.

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