Art of Journaling

We have published some interviews over the past few months. There was one must-do recommendation that echoed in all advice we heard, and it was about journaling. So we dug deeper into it. We reached out to experts and sought their opinion on the best practices when it comes to journaling. We’ve collated the best responses for you.

journaling best practices

“I think the primary element of journaling is avoiding conscious processing of what is being written. I find journaling the most cathartic when I write subconsciously and engage in automatic writing.” - Ritika Singh

“When it comes to journaling, the idea is to let our emotions flow and connect with what we are writing. It does not need to have a specific pattern, what is important is that venting out, reflecting, exploring oneself happens at the pace the individual is comfortable with.” - Ipsita Chatterjee

“Self-care is the most important thing, I believe while journaling one must be grateful of their surroundings, hence one must always write at least 3 things they are grateful of”. - Mehar Ahuja

“According to me, Consistency is important. If you start today and then you stop tomorrow, that’s not how it works. You need to be consistent to see the results. I have tried it.. journaling helps a lot if you are consistent. And also, feel what you write. Don’t write it because you have to write. Write it and feel it.” - Neha Kaushik

“As a counseling psychologist as well as an enthusiast of journaling myself. One of the most important parts of the process of journaling is self-reflection. Self-reflection helps in understanding ourselves more clearly and deeply. When people introspect, they can evaluate their thoughts, emotions, motives, and desire. One can also identify one’s negative behavior pattern and then march on to improve these behavioral patterns”. - Aashima Chhatwal

“Journaling is for the mind what exercise is for the body. Our mind has limited space and for it to enjoy the present it’s necessary to accept our past for whatever it represents. But as easy as it is said, it’s pretty difficult to put into action. That’s where journaling comes to assist you. It acts as a venting safe space and also on occasions can provide us with pleasantness amongst a sea of difficult experiences” - Saumya Singh

“Through journaling, we can address our fear, anxiety, and insecurities. Journaling helps in defining who we are, in what areas of mental health we should work on. It is a very important part of cognitive behavior therapy”. - Shobha Jain

“I think by being extremely honest & non-judgmental to oneself, one can do justice to fulfilling the purpose of writing a journal” - Vrinda Pathela

“Journaling is a good way to keep stress out by ventilating your feelings and helps you get through tough times, given that you do it properly and it’s for you” - Dr. Mir Shahid Ali

“When it comes to Journaling, the most important thing is, to be honest to yourself. While writing down about your day or your goals, one should be humble and true to themselves.” - Pranati Kapoor

“Being realistic and appreciative of small things that you are doing every day rather than only doing it when you are sad or when you’ve achieved something significant.” - Satadeepa Som

“I think the most important aspect of journaling is that it is an outlet for our thoughts and feelings. Sometimes emptying the cup by writing it down helps sort things out and gives us a fresh perspective.

It doesn’t have to be just the traditional idea of writing down whatever has happened in the day, it is expressing what you’re feeling and when you’re feeling it. It helps us understand our thoughts and emotions.” - Anushtha Mishra

“Journaling when implemented accurately can be a strong therapeutic tool for an individual. Journaling as a technique is often employed to aid a client in therapy to identify their narrative, resonate with their story, and even discover more aspects of the self as they do so. It is highly subjective and can be a healing experience for many.

I believe journalling need not always be identified as words on paper. It can be through art as well. Research also supports the positive impact of journaling on mental health and well-being. The most important skill is to hold that space to help the client process what comes up for them as they keep journalling.” - Shalini Srinivasan

“Expressing your emotions can reduce the discomfort you have been feeling. When emotions pile up they can release themselves in various ways, all of them are not very healthy sometimes. Journaling, according to me, is a healthy form of expressing emotions.

It gives the individual the space and creativity to write down their feelings, thoughts, emotions, and even ideas in a very personalized manner. It also helps you clear your mind and plan a course of action for the future. There are many things to remember while Journaling.

These small tips can help you start your journey or even help you maintain your habit of Journaling in the future

  • Be Consistent: Even when things are going well make it a habit to write. Most people feel that only when things are going wrong or not according to them should they vent out or write, this is not a balanced approach. To make anything a habit you have to be consistent, so even when everything is good or well managed write that down as well. It’s important to acknowledge everything that is happening around you, this will also help you look at things more realistically as well.

  • Get Creative: Buy a nice diary or get creative with a diary, perhaps write down your favorite quotes from Pinterest. Stick some nice pictures or even use colorful pens. The more you make Journaling something interesting you will be able to go back to it every day.

  • Have Alternatives: Many of my clients complain that they forget to write, or the diary is too big to carry somewhere. You can simply write an email to yourself from your phone or you can make a note on your laptop. Try and give yourself fewer reasons to not write, there is always a way out. These are a few things you can keep in mind when you start your Journaling Journey. It’s alright to pick it up again if breaks come, just give it a try and you will start reaping the benefits of writing very soon.” - Devyani Singha

“Journaling plays a vital role in therapy. many of you would think what is the difference between the journaling that you all write and the ones which are given by mental health practitioners.

Journaling is a road map where the patient gets in touch with the thoughts and feelings which are bothering them. Moreover, the clients are also able to express themselves in a non-judgemental environment and work toward self-awareness. Henceforth journaling is not just writing a diary, it’s a therapeutic activity which adds meaning to therapy and the overall life of a person.” - Komal Mishra

“When it comes to journaling, the most important thing is to be free of any rules. Grammatical limitations, rationality in thought, punctuations, the logic of words. Let it flow through you when you’re attempting it. Consistency and perfection are not important in journaling. Just showing up at your heart’s desire is.” - Vidushi Soni

“I think the most important thing when it comes to journaling is not to judge what we are writing. Sometimes we can get very self-critical even at an exercise that is supposed to be an outlet for all our emotions. Journaling is a space of honest and authentic reflection.

It allows a person to let out all the difficult emotions that they have been feeling and find it hard to label. From not judging our quality of writing to not judging all the emotions that come up and find space on paper, it’s always best to be gentle, and kind to ourselves whilst we journal.” - Neha Jain

“Journaling not only aids in emotional regulation, but it’s also a physical representation of our mind right in front of us which acts as an amazing guide to be a better person or very simply understand oneself. Understanding oneself is the most important step towards any required change in our life. That’s the answer that comes to my mind at the moment.” - Sreya Chatterjee

“According to me, the most important thing when it comes to journaling is putting your unfiltered feelings and thoughts on paper without having to constantly think about grammar, the idea of “good” or “bad”, etc.” - Songbriti Nath

“Journaling is known to be a great self-reflection tool and thus that is the most important aspect of the process. Self-reflection is highly beneficial because it brings us face to face with our thoughts. A journal can provide us with a medium free of judgment or external inputs. We can pour our thoughts freely out onto the pages and sometimes that can lead to great insights as well as alternative perspectives to look at the situations we are dealing with.” - Josheka Chauhan

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