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How, and why, you should start journalling

About Cherene

I’m a writer, speaker, teacher and entrepreneur who is passionate about all things HEALth, FITness, WELLness & LifeSTYLE, and helping you create the JUICIER life of your dreams!

And why it's so fantastic for your mental health.

Some of the most influential people in history have kept detailed journals of their lives. These journals served two purposes: a permanent record for posterity, and a cathartic release for the people writing them.

Even if you don’t think there’ll ever be a documentary made about your life, there are plenty of reasons to keep one for yourself.

Even if you don’t think there’ll ever be a documentary made about your life, there are plenty of reasons to keep one for yourself

Journalling, or the process of recording one’s inner-most thoughts, hopes, fears, and desires, is a form of self-expression that leads to all-round better understanding.

Even if you don’t think there’ll ever be a documentary made about your life, there are plenty of reasons to keep one yourself. Or perhaps you’ve wanted to get started with your own journal, but never found time, or aren’t sure what to write about…or maybe you laugh off the idea, passing it off as a useless pastime.

Why you should give journalling a go

  • It enhances self-expression and gives the “writer” in you a voice
  • It can help you better understand issues that bother you, and make sense of them
  • It can help you improve your relationships with others
  • It can help reduce stress
  • It can help track your progress towards a goal
  • And here’s a bonus reason 

    It gives you the opportunity to get all that “stuff” out of your head – all those thoughts, ideas, problems, emotions, goals and dreams.   

    Did you know that when we go to sleep at night our brains go into download/back-up mode? Our brain is our IOS, or Internal Operating System (like that of a computer). When we switch off at night, our IOS kicks in to start processing and downloading everything that you’ve put into it during the day.

    It sorts, files and deletes everything based on importance…which is probably why sometimes you can remember that yesterday you had an AWESOME idea, but not what it was. Your IOS system has quite possibly filed it in the Junk folder, or Deleted it!

    This daily dump, as I call it, before heading off to bed backs up a lot of those thoughts, ideas, emotions etc before your IOS gets to it. So journalling reduces the amount that has to be dealt with during the night. This leads to more restful sleep, less stress and you don’t lose those awesome ideas you wanted to remember tomorrow! WINNING!

    Your journal can also incorporate the practice of gratitude! As you are writing you will often put things that trouble you into better perspective and realise that maybe things aren’t as bad as you thought.

    Practicing gratitude helps enormously. At the end of your writing, take a minute to read back over your day and think about a few things that you are grateful for. Some days it might only be 2-3 things and other days there may be more. It doesn’t matter how many – this is your journal, you can write whatever you like and be as grateful for as much or as little as you can think of.

    Getting started is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

  • Buy a journal –  When I first started this practice I found the whole idea of keeping a “journal” somewhat formal (which I definitely am not) so I purchased a sparkly note book that I loved and wrote  “The Daily Dump” on the cover! If this is going to be my journal, then I’ll call it whatever I like – and you can, too! Give your journal your own personalised title that works for you, and encourages you to sit down and write!
  • Make a commitment –  Set aside a time each evening to sit quietly and contemplate the day that was, even just 10-15 minutes, and make a commitment to this time. Last thing at night before hitting the sack is best. But whenever you can, catch 10-15 minutes of “me time”.
  • Get writing –   Writers often talk of “writer’s block”, but fortunately this doesn’t happen a great deal when journalling. Sometimes, getting that first line down on paper is the hardest, but once you get started, just let it flow. Don’t overthink it! Sit quietly, hit the rewind button and replay the events of the day. Hit pause every now and then and jot down your thoughts, what you felt at the time, what you feel now – and as I said, just let it flow.
  • As with anything, it takes 30 days to create a habit and about 60 days to create a lasting habit. Take my 30-Day “dump it” challenge and start creating a lifetime habit of healthy writing.

    Always remember, this is your journal. This is not a book you are writing to have published. You are not trying to make this a No.1 best seller, so it doesn’t have to necessarily make a lot of sense to anyone other than you! This is all about your thoughts, your ideas, your feelings, your troubles and your personal self-expression.

    I always look forward to hearing your comments and would love to hear about your own journalling experience below.

    Until next time....

    Cherene x

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