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5 Powerful Benefits Of Journaling, Guidelines Of Effective Journaling For Beginners, Journaling Prompts

“Dear Diary…” Hope you remember these words 🙂

I know you’re already lost with your nostalgic childhood memories of writing diaries. 

When you think of “journaling”, you might visualize a teenager laying on the bed and writing about his/her crush, good times spent with pals, favourite songs or quotes, hobbies, dreams etc., in a diary and hiding it in a place where no one would find it. That was fun, though! 😀 While it can absolutely be applicable for those purposes, journaling is not solely for teenagers with overflowing thoughts and emotions. Journaling does more than just encourage you to document your fun-filled memories or discover self-expression. Journaling is for anyone and everyone. People of all ages have found that effective journaling helps improve your quality of life, become better at what you do, and significantly impact your mental health. In this article, Dr Kausthub Desikachar discusses 5 powerful benefits of Journaling, guidelines of effective journaling for beginners, and journaling prompts that you can use to start off with your journaling journey.

What is Journaling? 

Although there are various perspectives on journaling, Dr Kausthub Desikachar says, Journaling is a simplistic mindful practice of maintaining a written record of our ideas and emotions, encircling our life. In doing so, it helps us understand and grow and make sense of them. Practising journaling creates a beautiful, meaningful connection with oneself, and it’s no surprise, the wise call it therapeutic. 

Journaling is considered a ritual that is practised daily by many or weekly by some.
Dr Kausthub Desikachar recommends keeping a dedicated journal/ notebook for it. Pick a time to journal every day and stick to it. It could be a morning ritual or a ritual before going to bed. Journaling is for everyone, from a business magnate to a student.
Dr Kausthub Desikachar says the more you develop this habit, the more you will benefit from this practice. The point is not to get good at journaling but to get good at life.

NBCnews says that scientists like Marie Curie and Albert Einstein also kept journals. So did business magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, General George Patton and Winston Churchill.

What Should I Write In Journal? 

Journaling is a tool to Journaling used to write down your day-to-day life events, keep your to-do lists, jot down your ideas as they occur, set daily goals, write things you are grateful for, affirmations, and track your emotions and work on places you think you can be better, etc. Fundamentally it is a place to record all of your thoughts in an unstructured free self-expression writing method. 

Guidelines Of Effective Journaling For Beginners

  1. Your journaling practice will be most effective if you do it every day for about 20 minutes. 
  2. Just start journaling everything that is running in your mind at that moment or from using our journaling prompts from below.
  3. Treat journaling as your most favourite relaxing experience.
  4. The best time to journal about whatever happened during the day is just before you get to sleep in a soothing location and use early mornings to scribble down your goals, affirmations, to-dos, etc. 
  5. Carry your journal and a pen with you at all times so that it gets easier to jot down your thoughts.
  6. The most important rule is that set no rules for your journaling. Journaling should be unstructured self-expression with a free flow of words. 
  7. Adding doodles, sketches, drawings, stickers can be a fun way to have your journal.
  8. Either use a blank unruled notebook and get creative with journaling, or you could buy readymade journals that will have prompts and a lot more that can make it easier for you in the beginning. 
  9. Treat your journal as your special best friend and pour out all your emotions, ambitions, etc.

Journaling Prompts That You Could Use To Begin With 

Practising journaling helps us comprehend our true self, what our needs are and our dislikes. This can support us in creating better choices in all aspects of life and focus on the very things that help us take compassionate care of ourselves, our surrounding and achieve our end goals in a better way. Dr Kausthub Desikachar suggests using the below journaling prompts to begin with. 

1.For Self-Discovery And Self-Realization

  1.  Describe yourself in few words.
  2.  How do you perceive your mistakes? What do you learn from your mistakes?
  3. Make a list of questions to which you need answers and slowly figure them out.
  4. Describe how you’ve compassionately helped a friend with their difficulty and pen down how you can do something similar for yourself.
  5. What do you love about life? Also, make a list of things you’d like to say no to.
  6. What are your core values/ principles that you follow? Are you living your life following them? What are the measures you can take to live a life with values?
  7. How do you see yourself five years from now? Write a letter to yourself. 

2.Mindfulness And Every Day Reflective Prompts

  1. How are you feeling today?
  2. What are the challenges you faced today?
  3. How do you feel about those challenges, and what are the possible solutions to those challenges?
  4. What is the best thing that happened today?
  5. What am I grateful for?
  6. What improvements can I make?

3. Routines And Lifestyle Prompts

  1.   Diet – Write down your current diet. Are you satisfied with it, or do you want to improve your diet for the better? Pen down the changes you would like to make. 
  2.  Do you get enough sleep? Do you usually wake up well-rested?
  3. Describe your morning routine. Is there anything you could add to the morning routine to make your day easier?
  4. How often do you indulge in any form of physical activity? How does it make you feel? Would you like to change something for the better?
  5. Write a letter to yourself and your body. It could be a letter of salutes and appreciation, an apology, or a letter of complaint. 

4.Work, Business, Ambitions Prompts

  1. Describe your perfect job, and be honest. Are you in such a work set right now? What steps can you take to get there?
  2. What or who inspires you in your professional life?
  3. Within the following year, how can you improve your career?
  4. What steps can you take to unleash or further develop your creativity?
  5. What’s one thing you want to accomplish before you retire?
  6. Challenges you are facing, and how can you solve them?

5.Relationship Prompts

  1. Describe what a healthy, and an unhealthy relationship looks like? What is the secret code to a great relationship?
  2. What are you thankful for in your relationship?
  3. List things that are special about your partner.
  4. What exceptional qualities do you bring to a relationship?
  5. Are you a forgiving partner?
  6. What prompt actions can you take to improve your relationship?
  7. List ways to make your relationship more fun.
  8. Ways in which you can demonstrate love without using the words “I love you.”

5 Powerful Benefits Of Journaling

Dr Kausthub Desikachar shares some of the incredible benefits of journaling that will inspire you to start with journaling. It contributes to numerous intellectual, organizational and psychological benefits and improves your physical health and well-being. And Kausthub says, guess what? None of these benefits requires you to be a good writer; just let the pen do its writing with a free flow of words 😉

1.Journaling Strengthens Your Immunity

Kausthub says, believe it or not, expressive journaling can strengthen your immune system cell known as T-lymphocytes and help fight off illness and diseases. Studies show that people who journal have lesser symptoms of an asthma attack, rheumatoid arthritis, and improved lung function. You might wonder how journaling can strengthen your immunity? The answer is simple. Effective journaling lets you overcome stress, which can boost your immune system.

2.Journaling Improves Your Mood And Emotional Function

Bottling up our emotions harm our mind and body. Your body experiences a plethora of stress and anxiety when you bottle up your feelings. Writing down the biggest fears of life and the problems you can’t keep your thoughts away from helps you find the trigger and learn how to handle and find a solution for it. Your mind becomes clear, leaving you with an uplifted mood and better emotional function. 

3.Journaling Improves Your Communication Skills 

As you journal, you tend to understand yourself better, leading to communicating better about your feelings with others—effective journaling heads to clear thinking, which drives clear communication.

4.Journaling Moves You Closer To Your Goals

Penning down your goals gives you more clarity and helps you achieve them with a better understanding. It enables you to build a realistic plan to accomplish your goals and helps to break up more significant tasks into smaller chunks; it lets you track the progress and see what’s working ad what’s not. The very thought of penning down about a drained fruitless day just motivates you to consume those other days extra intelligently.

5.Journaling Improves Your Sense Of Gratitude 

Kausthub says maintaining a gratitude journal can have life-changing outcomes. Gratitude simply means “the feeling of being thankful”. Journaling about things you are thankful for each day allows you to focus on all the good things happening in your life (from the tiniest to the most considerable matter), which will boost your self-esteem and help you feel harmonious and less thrown off by daily stress.

Other Benefits Of Practicing Journaling

  1. Strengthens your cognitive ability
  2. Helps study your thoughts and shift your mindset
  3. Lessened brooding
  4. Increases the quality of your sleep
  5. Experience positive feelings with yourself and others

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Dr Kausthub Desikachar

Dr Kausthub Desikachar

Dr. Kausthub Desikachar is the successor and current lineage holder of the classical Viniyoga tradition of T Krishnamacharya & TKV Desikachar. He is an acclaimed yoga teacher, yoga therapist, healer and spiritual adviser. He is also an avid photographer, inspirational writer and poet.

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