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Journaling is something I have made one of my main priorities for the last year. I find it so therapeutic and very essential for my mental health.

It allows you to offload all your thoughts onto a piece of paper with no judgment. It feels like a weight lifted off your shoulders. I want to encourage as many people as possible to start their own journaling to improve your mental well-being and overall mood. I have decided to write a five step guide for beginners on how to get into writing frequently.

1. Journaling prompts:
Prompts are such a great way to start off your writing. I find some people struggle on what to write about and tend to lose the motivation to journal. Some great journaling prompts often get you to think about something to write about. “My favourite way to spend the day is..” This prompt associates positive thoughts and can ultimately get your mind thinking. You could also make a list of thirty things that make you happy. This influences a positive mood and helps you practice gratitude.

2. You don’t have to write daily:
Some people often think once you start journaling, you have to dedicate time everyday to write something. This is absolutely not the case. Journaling is completely personal and on your terms. I personally would generally only write every second day or if I feel like I really need to take my mind off something. I never put pressure on myself to write because I tend not to know what to say.

3. Schedule Journaling:
I am personally an evening person when it comes to journaling. I think I make more of an impact on myself when I offload my thoughts from the last two days, in the evening time. I would always recommend practicing gratitude in the mornings, but I would also tend to practice this in the evening also. Like I said, this is completely personal and on your terms with no judgement. Some people benefit more from journaling in the morning too. The two journals I want to recommend are, ‘Five minutes in the morning focus journal’ and ‘Five minutes in the evening a journal for rest and reflection’. These both can be purchased from your local Easons. These journals are full of prompts and exercises to help you write.

4. Scenery:
Believe it or not your scenery and environment make a massive impact on your writing. Make your space of writing the way you want. I love to light a few candles in the evening and turn on my fairy lights in my room to set the relaxing mood which ultimately helps me fall asleep too. For me, journaling in the evenings is about my own self reflection and winding down. Whereas journaling in the morning helps you focus and sets you up for the day ahead. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to this and their personal schedule.

5. Personalise your journal:
Make your journal your own piece of work. Make it as messy and as neat as you want. You don’t have to write full pages everyday, it may only be a sentence or two. Write some positive quotes, three things you’re grateful for etc. There are no rules when it come to writing for yourself. Pick up a journal you visually love and just write.

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