Why should I keep a journal?

In todays fast-paced world, journaling helps you stop and listen to your thoughts and emotions rather than to ignore them. This helps you to navigate life's daily challenges and to be more connected to your inner self.

Studies show the positive effect expressive writing has on our mental health and is extremely effective in reducing stress and anxiety.

How often should I write in my journal?

Journaling can become an effective daily practice, so the more regularly you are able to do so, the better the easier it will become. Working towards ideally spending time writing in your journal 4-5 times a week as there always will be days where it may not fit in.

Allow it to become your personal tool and therefore whatever fits in with your life on a regular basis is your ideal. Any time you are able to make time for is better than no time - so be realistic and kind to yourself as you experiment and see what works for you.

Where should I write in my journal?

Create a place where like to sit, preferably uninterrupted. Your Mindfully Me Journal is portable so you can take it anywhere with you. In a park, a cafe, a bedroom or a quiet space in the house.

I'm nervous someone will read my journal - How do I keep it private?

This is a totally natural feeling - and making sure you feel your journal is secure is very important. The elastic band helps to keep it closed which creates a sense of privacy. In regards to storing it - keep your journal in a safe place for example under your mattress or pillow or in a draw is a good idea.

The reality is the feeling is more about you being able to express what is going on, which is usually a bigger block than someone reading it. Once you get started this fear will ease off and be replaced by the benefits you experience.

How long should I write for?

This is totally up to you - even starting with shorter more frequent periods of time to begin will allows you to experience the habit of stopping and listening to yourself. This will naturally grow as you develop your journalling practice. So starting with 10mins is a absolutely fine.

Do I have to complete the journal in order?

There is a purpose in the order the journal has been written, and the recommendation is to follow this as a place to start. There are however no rules and if you are drawn to a particular section allow yourself to follow your instinct.

I've finished! What should I do next?

Well done - this is a fantastic achievement. The purpose of Mindfully Me is to develop journal as a ongoing practice so keep writing - you can order another journal, keep an eye out for our next journal or use a blank notebook.

I've tried journaling before and it hasn't worked, it's not for me ...

Mindfully Me is a guided journaling process. The guided journey put forth questions and prompts that give you more confidence to start than a blank page.

If you have tried journaling before and have found it difficult be open to trying it again - with Mindfully Me to guide you.

I don't know what to write ...

This is a very common stumbling block. The questions are simple in their guidance and not complex. Your answers can be simple as well - words, drawings, doodles - anything that helps your to begin this expressive process. This is a process for you - there is no one marking it or reading what you have written.

I'm frustrated my writing is not as neat as I would like ...

How many times have you ripped the first page out of a notebook or journal because its not perfect? I understand - and have done this many times myself! Try and focus on being kind to yourself through this process - it is not about writing neat and it looking perfect - more the benefit you feel in the process of listening and expressing.

I started my journal and have slacked off - I don't really want to start again, but I feel I should?

This is part of the ebb and flow of life. There is nothing more constant than change and learning to gain flexibility within ourselves and our habits it part of this. Its ok to stop for periods of time and start again.

'I should' is an insightful phrase we use when we are putting expectations on ourselves that come from outside pressures. Its not about what you should do - more the benefits you gain for yourself through the process of writing.

I'm too busy! I don't have time do write in my journal ...

Ironically when we are to busy is the time when we need time to listen to ourselves most. Allow yourself time to recalibrate and pause. Even a short period of time is better than not doing it at all.

Sometimes when I'm writing, emotions can overwhelm me ...

Whilst this can feel uncomfortable and little scary, try to allow yourself to see this as a positive. It is the purpose of expressive writing. Although challenging - the sense of relief in expressing these emotions is contributing to a healthier mind. Pause to allow yourself to take a few deep breaths.