A large population of people relies on a diary or journal. They see a drastic change in their lives after being consistent with this practice. It has a variety of mental health benefits along with organizational benefits.
The habit of journaling isn’t inbuilt in anyone, it’s cultivated with dedication. It’s not something everyone needs to do but people suggest it to make their lives easier. People who struggle with mental health issues think of it as an escape and a way to let out all the feelings without being judged while others use it to keep their life on track with different journal prompts to help them remember important things.
Those who haven’t started yet feel afraid as they think it’s a commitment and they won’t be able to keep up with it. They get stuck with one of the other myths that are created around the practice of journaling. Whether it is an expensive hobby or something that only creative people can adopt, a lot of journaling myths prevail around us.
And because I’m calling them MYTHS, you certainly know they are not true. If you still don’t believe me, let’s talk about them one by one and clear the misconceptions.
You need a fancy new journal to get started
This is one of the most common journaling myths that I’ve come across. Many have this notion that you need a fancy looking or expensive journal/diary to get started in journaling. While this is totally untrue, it depends on each person. You can even start with an empty notebook lying in your cupboard to kick start the process. The only thing you need is the desire to journal.
If you still want to buy, there are a variety of low-cost diaries you can order online according to your budget. There’s still no compulsion of having a pretty looking new diary. What’s more important is what’s in it that how it looks.
You’re writing in a journal for someone else.
Your journal is solely for you. Until and unless you want someone else to read it, no one should have access to it. Many people consider their journal a safe space and something to be kept away from everyone. You’re writing in your journal for yourself and not anyone else. Writing helps you to organize your thoughts and assess them easily. This way you can come back and judge your progress and how long you have to go.
Write as if you’re talking to someone or yourself. It doesn’t matter if you think your thoughts wouldn’t make sense to anyone, because they’re your thoughts. You shouldn’t care about others reading it or understanding it. Write for yourself, for your satisfaction.
Write in your journal only when you’re going through negative emotions
For mental health benefits, it is advisable to keep a journal to assess your thoughts in a better way. One of the myths relating to it is that you have to write in a journal only when you’re experiencing negative emotions.
The journal is there to help you cope with everything you’re going through and not just negative emotions. If you’re feeling good, happy, or excited, you should write that out too. It should portray all your emotions if you’re using it for your mental health. So that when you go through it again you won’t feel bad about only experiencing negative emotions, you’ll be able to identify that you go through happy times too and feel better about your journey.
You need to journal daily
Not everyone decides to journal daily. Some people have a weekly or monthly journal to summarise how there week or month went by and plan for the next one.
You don’t have to sit daily and write it if you don’t feel like it. Journaling is not a task, it’s a hobby or activity and you have full control over how much you want to pursue it.
Don’t pressurize or push yourself to sit daily and write, it shouldn’t feel like a chore to you. Consider this as an escape or your happy place.
Your journal should look neat and pretty
Totally false. How you maintain your journal is up to you. Some people like to keep it rusty and love it like that while some like to keep it neat and clean. It’s your decision and it should look like how you want it to look.
Take some paper and staple them together if you feel like it. Use pencils or just a blue pen, it’s your playground. There are no boundaries.
Only people with mental issues should journal
Journaling is not for any particular category of people. It is open for all and anyone can try it if they wish to. It’s not just for people who deal with mental illness, it’s for everyone who wants to get organized in their lives. You can track a thousand things in your journal, remember dates you usually forget and write down about your day.
People rely on their journals for keeping their life together and this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be mentally unhealthy to do so. It is a practice open for people of every age, category, background, race, or religion.
You have to be creative & you need tons of supplies.
Recheck with my close friends and you’ll know that I’m the least creative of the lot. My brain gets blocked when I’m asked to do something creative. 21 years of my life I rarely did something artistic, the most I did was fill colors in the coloring books. My journal looks very ordinary. Yes, there are comparisons but I believe as long as it’s working best for me to get my life together, it’s good.
So now you know that you don’t need to be creative to have a journal. Don’t refrain from having one.
You should post pictures/ They should be Instagram worthy
If you’re only journaling to click pictures and post it on social media, you’re missing out on the main motive. Your journal doesn’t necessarily need to look aesthetically pleasing or Instagram worthy. Trust me, even my journal isn’t full of pretty pages or colors but it does help me get organized in life. The main motive is to enhance your lifestyle and make it easier for you.
Sharing it on social media is another choice people make to either document their progress or inspire people to give a try to journaling. Don’t feel bad if it looks ordinary, it should serve its purpose, whether it looks pretty or not.
It should look colorful
This is also one of the most common myths about journaling. By looking at all the Pinterest and Instagram people assume that your journal should be full of colors. Again this is totally up to the person. You can have a journal filled with 100 colors or just 2 pens either blue or black. You have total freedom to use any colors or no colors at all in your journal. As earlier said, there are no rules.
You need to create a monthly spread
You might see multiple Instagram posts or accounts that have aesthetic looking monthly spread. All pages beautifully made and ready to be filled with tasks. This is not necessary. You don’t need to spend hours on making a monthly spread if you don’t want to. The ones who do, they do it purely for their satisfaction and well being. No one tells them to do so. It’s what makes them happy. That’s what journaling is all about. So do what you feel works for you.
You can just take a paper and write the new month on the top in capital letters and get started with it. No one’s going to judge you for it.
Now that I’ve busted all the possible myths about journaling, you don’t have an excuse for not having one. Give it a try for one month, you’ll not regret it.
Here are some cost effective products you can buy to start your journal.
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