How to Journal: The 5 Minute Habit That Will Change Your Life

6 min readNov 10, 2021

By Genevieve Ava, B.I.S., NASM-CPT,

What you do first thing in the morning affects your entire day. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Habits are important. What you do first thing in the morning affects your entire day. Checking social media early in the morning is not healthy, and it will only give you anxiety and stress in return. Don’t let yourself be glued to your phone; the messages and notifications won’t go anywhere. Devote this time to yourself. Give yourself time to wake up. Try something better, something calmer — like 5-minute meditation, exercising, simply taking a deep breath, or walking around your neighborhood. However, the best option for many is journaling, and you’re about to find out why.

Journaling Is No Different From Writing in a Diary (Image Source: Shutterstock)

A Beginner’s Guide to Journaling

You might have kept a diary once, especially when you were a kid. Journaling is no different from writing in a diary. You record whatever you want: your feelings, the day’s events, gratitude, a memory, or your goals. It can be a fancy artistic journal or a simple and classic written one. But the difference is in the impact it has on your life. As an adult, you come in contact with overwhelming emotions and mental illnesses on a daily basis like sadness, depression, anxiety, frustration, and numbness. Journaling can aid you in overcoming them. It can also maximize your happiness, clarify your thoughts, help you recognize behavioral patterns, and improve your emotional health.

In order to journal, you simply have to write down your thoughts for a few minutes, preferably every day so that it becomes an unbreakable habit. Take a pen and a diary — like The Five minute Journal — and write away. It won’t take very long before you begin to notice the power of writing. Keep one with you at all times so that, whenever you feel the urge to write something, you can immediately get it out of your system before it gets buried deep inside you.

Once you begin journaling, you might get bored of it midway through. That is completely normal. Nobody likes a monotonous routine. This is actually the turning point. It’s the part where you figure out whether you want to keep it traditional or go rogue. Experiment with different ways to liven up your journal, like making doodles, using colorful pens, painting, and scrapbooking. Eventually, you’ll figure out which method sits right with you and stick to it.

Here is a five-minute Youtube video with helpful tips to get you started on journaling.

Easy Ways to Start Journaling — JetPens

The Power of Writing

The power of writing is undeniable. Journaling has the following scientifically proven benefits:

Boosts Healing and Immunity

When you get into an accident or have a debilitating disease, you come face to face with mental and physical stress that can get hard to handle. Journaling takes some of the burdens off of your shoulders and gives you space to breathe. Patients who journal heal faster. Their immunity also increases. Once your body is free of the weight of stress, it can devote its energy to the rest of your body.

Helps You Recognize and Eliminate Bad Habits

The first step toward self-improvement is self-awareness. And there is no better way to achieve this than through journaling. Writing your behavioral patterns, how you cope with problems, and what you do throughout the day will help you see more clearly what needs to be changed.

Breaking bad habits is easier when you have a journal to keep track of your progress and setbacks.

Helps You Cope with Depression

Journaling is often suggested by therapists to people who are suffering from depression. That’s because it helps you understand your emotions and their triggers and take a different look at your life. It has been proven to aid in the intervention of depression by medical researchers.

Journaling is Often Suggested by Therapists to People Who Are Suffering From Depression (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Sharpens Memory

By regulating and organizing your thoughts, you become better able to comprehend and understand yourself and others. This is exactly what journaling enables you to do. And it will also boost your memory in the process as your cognition improves.

Improves your Self-talk

The people we criticize the most are ourselves. In order to change that, you have to shift how you speak to yourself. You need to cut down the negativity and replace it with affection and compassion. One daily good habit to build that will help you achieve this is journaling your thoughts about yourself and writing affirmations.

Types of Journals and The Five Minute Journal

Journals have endless types. Bookworms keep reading journals where they safely tuck their favorite quotes, characters, and analyses. People who love to cook have recipe journals for remembering the key ingredients to their favorite delicious foods. Dreamers who have weird, pleasant, or nightmarish dreams write them down in a dream journal. It’s a fun way to keep a track of all those entertaining episodes your brain comes up with every night. Artists keep a journal of their art, writers of their poetry and prose. But the one that will benefit you the most is a mental health journal. If you find empty pages too intimidating, you can give guided journals a shot.

The Five Minute Journal Available on Amazon

Guided journals come with prompts and questions to keep your words flowing. For instance, The Five Minute Journal has a structured layout for daily entries. There are quotes and affirmations for you to ponder and repeat to yourself. It will teach you how to practice gratitude by asking you to write down things you’re grateful for, your best memories of the day, and ways you can make your day even better. Plus, it’s made from recycled paper, which makes it environmentally friendly, as well. You add the dates yourself, so there’s no restriction and no loss of pages in case you miss a day.

Keep journaling easy and simple. Do not force yourself to repeat the same procedure, and allow your creativity to flow every once in a while. You don’t have to make it an hour-long activity; it can be something similar to 5-minute meditation. The purpose is to build a healthy habit and not a chore. Don’t forget to make it enjoyable. Consistency is the key here. Pick a time that suits you, and let the pen carry away your worries and catalog your joy. Mold the power of habits to your benefit.

Journaling For A Happier You

Journaling is an activity where you keep a record of your thoughts and feelings or anything that you love. It has been scientifically proven to yield both mental and physical benefits. Journaling is an amazing way to organize your thoughts, recognize bad habits and break them to pieces, and never let your mind bully your body again. Don’t shy away from doodling in your journal. But first, treat it as a form of 5-minute meditation.

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