The musings of a landscape painter, art teacher, and art history lover
Unlocking the Power of Journaling: The Joys and Benefits of Putting Pen to Paper
Journaling is the practice of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a personal diary or journal. It’s a simple but powerful tool that can bring many benefits to your life.
First and foremost, journaling can help you clarify your thoughts and feelings. When you write down what’s on your mind, you give yourself a chance to process your emotions and make sense of your experiences. This can help you gain insights into yourself and your life, and it can help you make better decisions.
Journaling can also be a great stress reliever. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking some time to write down your thoughts and feelings can help you release some of the tension and anxiety you’re feeling. You may even find that journaling helps you feel more relaxed and calm. A study published in the journal Psychotherapy Research found that participants who engaged in expressive writing (which includes journaling) experienced a significant reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety. Another study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that journaling helped individuals with chronic illness cope with their condition by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Another benefit of journaling is that it can help you track your progress and set goals. By recording your achievements, setbacks, and lessons learned, you can see how far you’ve come and identify areas for growth. You can also use your journal to set goals and create action plans that will help you achieve your dreams.
Journaling can also be a form of self-care. When you take the time to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, you’re giving yourself the gift of self-awareness and self-compassion. You’re also carving out time for yourself to slow down, tune in, and connect with yourself on a deeper level.
Overall, journaling can bring many joys and benefits to your life. Whether you’re looking to clarify your thoughts, relieve stress, track your progress, or practice self-care, journaling can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals and live your best life.
As an artist, I like to journal, but with a bit of a creative twist. I add in pictures, doodles, paintings, etc. Then, I make my writing part of the overall picture. The result is both a cathartic journaling experience a creative work of art. You can do this too! It is fun and easy!
Here is how I did it
1. I have given myself a rule that I must work at my journal for at least ten minutes a day. I often do more, but I must work for at least ten. It's good to set a specific time of day to do your journaling and to add it your calendars.
2. First, I take a ruler and draw in an area where I want to do a little painting in my journal. Remember, you can paint or draw whatever you are feeling. Don't think in terms of the picture being good or bad, just try to capture the spirit of the day. If it was a sad day, use slow lines and darker colors. If it was an energetic day, use more bright colors and daring lines. However you want to express the day is up to you. Just be creative and let it rip. Also, you can be representational, abstract, cartoony, or just work in whatever style you like.
3. After painting, I rule in a few more lines and write about the day, or maybe about the painting I just made. I usually put the date in the top left corner and the day's temperature in the bottom right.
4. Don't worry about your handwriting or your spelling, etc. Just get your thoughts down.
5. I try to at least get one affirmation into each journal entry. No matter how bad the day, there must be something to be thankful for.
Well that's it! It is a lot of fun to journal when you don't have to worry about writing too much and just explore the mood of the day with paint and color. Send me your own creative journal ideas. I would love to see them.
You may also like my article on the Power of Imagination: HERE.
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Author: Bruce Black
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