What do eating healthy food, exercising regularly and journaling every day have in common? They are all cornerstones of living a healthy lifestyle! Mental clarity and emotional health play a significant role in your overall health, and can actually help improve your physical results in your fitness routine. By journaling, you can help manage stress, and keep your mental health in the best shape.

If you’re anything like me, before hearing about the benefits of journaling, you may not have written in a journal since you were a kid and had a secret diary (or just never started!) but journaling actually has SO many benefits and is pretty easy to include in your daily routine.

Journaling can help reduce emotional pain, relieve stress by getting everything out on paper, improve your quality of life by reflecting on good experiences, and improve your relationships by helping you strengthen your self-expression. Overall, journaling helps you become more self-aware, which in turn will help you begin to live a more fulfilling, less stressed life. It can also help keep you focused and see faster results in your fitness journey as you are continually keeping your goals in the front of your mind.

So, how do you start? What do you do?

First, treat yourself to a journal that you actually like. Many will suggest using anything from a notebook to a paper pad, but in my opinion, you’re more likely to actually stick to it if you like what you’re journaling in. Take yourself down to target, or hit up my favourites – typo & kikki k – and pick up a notebook or journal that not only looks good, but feels good. (Stationary nerds will understand what I mean about feel ok lol)

From there, set a timer for 15 or 20mins and just start writing. The point here is not to aim for perfection (whatever that is..), but rather to just get your thoughts out on paper. Some days you may write down memories, other days when you’re not having the best day maybe you just let it all out in your journal. You can write about goals, brainstorm, or even Google journaling prompts or find an Instagram journaling challenge to try out for a few days.

For me, I journal every morning. I focus on what I am grateful for, what goals I want to achieve and replacing my limiting beliefs with new ones. I have a mantra that I start with which is “Choose happiness & smile. Listen & be present. I am worthy. I am enough” and then I will write down absolutely everything that I want to achieve, what I’m grateful for and what I want to happen. I write everything in present tense as if I already have it. That way I am motivated to take action. Some mornings I’ll play some music from youtube as I write, other mornings I’ll just write in silence to clear my mind.

When I started, I had about half a page. These days, I write about 5 pages each morning (calm down, it’s an A5 size notepad). I absolutely love doing this and really notice when I miss a morning – I get stressed easily and find that I rush through my day without actually getting anything done. Ever had a whole day where you’ve been busy but have not actually achieved anything you wanted to do? Yeah, they suck.

Now it’s your turn. Remember that there isn’t one right or wrong way to journal, but the important thing is that you make it a habit. Schedule it into your day, and write away! You’ll start to notice how much clearer your mind is, and how less stressed you feel after just a few days. Try it out even for just a week, and let me know in the comments how you feel after your first week!