Adapted from Spafinder

Your “morning mantras” don’t just come in the form of Instagram graphics and verbal encouragement, they can also be expressed through the art of journaling. The concept of putting pen to paper has been around for ages, but new methods like meditation, video, and gratitude journaling have elevated the practice to a Pinterest-worthy activity. This is especially true as we learn to reflect and recharge throughout the many chapters of the pandemic. Whether you’re hoping to gain words of affirmation, write down your morning mantras, or release stress as you manifest great things… journaling is going to be your new favourite activity. Here are four reasons to try it!

Manifestation: the 5×55 Method

Remember the way you used to write your crush’s name repeatedly in your school binder. Or, “I will not pass notes” on the whiteboard up to 50 times as punishment? You may not have realized it at the time, but these forms of repetition were a key ingredient to manifestation—one of the biggest reasons to begin journaling.

Repetition allows intention to enter the subconscious mind, combining affirmation with visualization to help make your dreams a reality. There are many ways to utilize manifestation in your journaling routine, but our favourite is the 5×55 method.

It’s actually very simple. First, all you need to do is choose your affirmation, such as “I will get high marks on this exam” or “I will better nourish my relationships.” Then, write it down exactly 55 times per day for a period of five straight days. Yes, 55 times! It becomes second nature after a while, and the process helps you believe in yourself to where the universe will meet your needs. The 5×55 method is the perfect introduction to both manifestation and journaling.

Clarity: Write Your Emotions

The human mind is extremely complex, and it’s not always easy to understand our feelings towards a particular situation, person, or decision that needs to be made. This is where it may be helpful to write your emotions down in your journal. While you may have excitement, disappointment,  anger, happiness, and hesitation going on inside your head at once, you can do a massive brain dump by putting all your emotions down on the page.

Consider this to be a therapy session where you outline the situation and your surrounding feelings through words. Were you justified in being anxious or annoyed, and is this something you need to work on? Or will you read a passage back later and realize that you weren’t as happy about your promotion as you thought at the moment? Revisiting the pages of your journal provides mental clarity that you may not have even known you needed.

Gratitude: Document Your Appreciation

If you’re not ready to start a detailed diary just yet, try a gratitude journal! It’s precisely what it sounds like—a method of showing gratitude in your day-to-day life and finding the beauty in the little things. It can be as simple as writing down one thing you’re grateful for each day, like your morning coffee or walks with your dog. Or, you can also go into more specific instances. For example, a glued-in shot of your weekend away with friends or the presentation that earned you rave reviews at work. When you mix gratitude with craftsmanship and reflection, you create a journal that is a perfect gift to yourself or others you appreciate.

Stress Relief (Brain Dumps)

You know the “brain dumps” we mentioned earlier? They also help you release stress by writing down all your daily affirmations and feelings on the page. There have been countless studies that show the health benefits of journaling, with research showing that it can reduce physical health issues or improve cognitive function. One common theme that most research agrees on? That expressive writing will greatly reduce your stress levels, and the negative effects on your physical and mental health that accompany it.

Why does journaling reduce stress? The short answer is that it helps us feel organized and in control. By writing down our strengths and weaknesses, and reflecting on the way we feel day-to-day, it helps us problem-solve to put our best selves forward in the future. There is no “correct” way to do journaling, as you simply need to make it your own to deliver the best results and feel less stressed.

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