A New Way to Journal

Dear Diary, It’s me, Dan.

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Journaling can have powerful effects and it doesn’t even need to be a daily habit…

Dear diary, it’s me. Dan. Today I ate eggs (again) and wrote a weekly newsletter to a community of people invested in the health of their brains. I thought I’d tell them about you today. So here I go.

The act of journaling has so many benefits it calls for a bulleted list. 

Journaling can help:

  • Reduce depression, anxiety, and stress

  • Cope with emotions

  • Create focus

  • Develop insight

  • Reflect on behaviour or feelings

Though in general it’s good to practice repetition when it comes to building habits, journaling doesn’t necessarily need to be a daily habit where you write in a book that you hide under your pillow (or, um - place on your bedside table). You just need a method that allows you to reflect on past and future experiences.

Some ideas:

  1. Practice gratitude. Gratitude can make you happier, improve relationships, counteract depression, and boost your health. I note 3 things from the day I’m grateful for every night before I go to sleep. Make this a daily habit with this gratitude app

  2. Enhance your “to do” list. Instead of just a list of things you need to do, write about a few ways you’d like to connect with people in your life. In my last company I got everyone to work on their "to be" lists which was a really helpful way to encourage people to stay true to themselves and reach their potential.

  3. Prime yourself. Take 30 seconds every morning before leaving the bed to ask yourself:  "Where will my joy come from today?". Note down a few ideas, regardless how small: making pancakes, going for a walk, petting a cat (guaranteed joy).

FOR THE NERDYGet journaling [source: Psychology Today]