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Journaling for personal growth

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Learn how to express yourself through journaling; writing helps process emotions

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PORTIA SIMMONS

You can process the day through different journaling methods such as bullet journaling.

Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts from your brain onto paper. People recommend keeping a journal to process the day and the events that happened. Since I have started journaling, I have been able to understand and reflect on my innermost thoughts.

At first, it might be intimidating to put pen to paper, but do not worry. It is to help you and your brain. You do not have to be Sylvia Plath every time you write. Here are some tips for starting your own journal.

Choose a time to sit down and reflect on the day. Maybe it is after dinner, after showering or right before bed. It does not matter. What matters is you have time blocked out for yourself to write. Choose a space that is relaxing and away from distractions. You should be able to take moments to pause without hearing the outside noise. This space should be set up to feel safe and support you.

Make attainable goals. If you do not have a lot of time to write one day, write for at least 5 minutes. Do not jump into journaling expecting to write a whole book. Pace yourself and build on your skills.

Express yourself in many different ways. You can draw a word cloud, list bullet points or draw what you saw throughout the day. You can collage or make a scrapbook, whatever helps you.

Check in with yourself often. OK, I admit it, I have sometimes slacked when it comes to journaling. There have been periods of time where I would not journal for weeks. However, in order for journaling to benefit you, you have to be consistent.

Are you feeling stressed, angry or anxious? Write down your feelings. This is a tip I have heard from therapists. It not only helps you articulate what you are feeling, but it also helps you through future moments. Once you know what you are feeling, you can address the issue in front of you.

Are you struggling to find what to write about? Start by saying what you are grateful for, write down your goals for the future or reflect on a specific area of your life — work, school, personal, etc. Make a list of your favorite movies or movies you want to check off your bucket list to watch.

Now that you have some basic tips, you need to purchase a journal. Go on a search for a journal that feels right for you. Once you buy a blank journal, customize it. You can start by writing your favorite quote or song lyric or drawing on the cover. Do whatever you want to do to make it feel more personal.

Journaling is a great way to express yourself. Your journal should be for you and no one else. Be proud of what you write. Continue to write until you have several books and your pen is empty. See the stacks of journals on your shelf in your room, which you can flip through to remind yourself of past times.

Happy journaling!

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