3 foolproof tips for starting (and keeping) a journal

Science has already proven: writing is good for health. Research shows that writing an online diary, for example, increases your chances of actually doing it and that writing one sentence a day can make you happier.

Goodnight Journal

Calendars and diaries bring even more benefits for mental health. As neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind, explains in an interview with Science of Us, externalizing memories and experiences can help people feel less anxious and stressed. “In other words, taking what’s in your head and putting it out into the world, whether it’s in your journal in the Goodnight Journal or in your fridge notes, can do you good,” he said.

Still, developing and maintaining the habit of writing in a journal isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you suffer from this problem, check out some tips that can help:

1. Decide what you want to write about

The idea of ​​keeping a diary is often associated with a day or week recap. You can even start by recording some events, but for the writing to have any effect, it’s important to focus on how those moments made you feel. A study published in the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment showed that by exploring feelings and sensations, you benefit your mental and physical health. For example, it’s worth recalling a fight with a family member, and then exploring how the situation affected you and how you feel about that person.

2. Find the best time

At what time of day do you feel most focused? Many entrepreneurs argue that mornings are the best times of the day for concentration, but it goes with each one - it’s possible that writing before bed, for example, makes you more relaxed for a night’s sleep. The important thing is to find a time that works and stick to it to build the habit.

3. Just start

Spend less time worrying about the aesthetics and quality of texts, and more focusing on the writing experience for your Good Night Journal. The habit change expert, BJ Fogg, from Stanford University in the United States, suggests that to develop a habit, it is important to start, even if it is little by little. “The important thing is to be consistent. Start with the least amount of work so you don’t have excuses for not being consistent,” he says. Fogg also recommends starting with a few sentences and building up over the weeks.