Being busy is so common these days; it was almost a welcome break when the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down and made us pause to focus. But, if we have time to make for social media and television, we can start a new, more beneficial habit.
Your health is essential, and to make it a priority, it takes building healthy habits to stay consistent and productive. Enter: journaling! Journaling helps to provide more self-awareness, clarity, and confidence in your health.
When you write down your thoughts, you can assess situations carefully to make the best decision. It offers more insight into you, so you can find weaknesses you want to improve upon.
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Why Health Journaling?
If you’ve never written in a journal, you’re probably wondering how having a journal can benefit your health. There are many reasons for this, one of the most prominent being that journaling has been shown to aid in mental health.
With a health journal, you can identify more specific problems or concerns. Because you’re writing everything down, you can pinpoint when and where you may be struggling and have better control over the problem once you’ve identified it. Writing can also help you manage daily triggers like stress and anxiety better.
These are some fantastic benefits of health journaling. But the key to making change and creating the habit is choosing to do it yourself. Here are some helpful strategies to keep you consistent in journaling for better health and what you can do to ensure your success.
Schedule Time Every Day
Everyone is busy; we all have lives. Whether it’s work, children, school, etc., there never seems to be enough time, and adding one more thing into your routine may feel overwhelming.
Can you set aside two minutes? Two minutes is hardly any time. Journaling requires writing, so start with a small increment of time, like just a couple of minutes, to jot down your thoughts regarding your health. Do this every day for a week, and gradually add another minute the following week. After a couple of weeks, try four minutes.
You’ll be surprised how easy it is to incorporate it into your routine when you start with just a little bit. You don’t have to go all in at once, which is a problem many people make. Another way to help make it easier for you to sit down and write in a health journal is by doing it at the same time every day.
For example, once you pour your cup of morning coffee, instead of plopping in front of the television, consider sitting at your counter or table with your notebook to take a few minutes and journal. Or, before you go to bed, say you sit down with a cup of tea, watch a show, or scroll your phone.
Take that time instead to take just a few minutes and write about your health. Once you begin setting aside these daily minutes to jot down your thoughts, it can quickly become a new healthy habit over some time.
Work With Journal Prompts and Topics
Having a personalized spiral notebook is helpful for accountability. If you’re journaling about your health, you need to be honest. Personalized and custom notebooks often provide prompts to get you thinking, so you don’t have to come up with ideas every time you sit down to write.
The questions, prompts, and topics make it far easier for you to take those few minutes and write about your health. If you’re struggling with prompts or topics to write about in your journal, here are some strategies to help you get started:
- Write down your weight and your desired weight,
- Track your food each day and look to incorporate nutritious food,
- Copy down healthy recipes that you want to try,
- Write down details about your exercise, such as how many steps you took, how many miles you ran, how long you did strength training, how many reps, etc.
- Write down how you feel about your health – think about things like food, working out, and how other health activities make you feel when you do them.
Make it Mean Something
Even just a few minutes each day needs to count for something. Creating a successful habit means you’ll enjoy yourself, so dig deep and look closely at your activities.
Going through the motions just makes it dull. Find ways to challenge yourself and ask more questions, such as:
- What do I want most out of my health?
- Why am I making my health a priority?
- What do I want more of or less out of life?
- What am I grateful for?
- What are my health goals?
Setting your intentions for the day and knowing what you hope to get from it will motivate you to stick with it. You can use your health journal to set your intentions, such as how you want to feel and what you will accomplish for the day.
Pay Attention to Your Space
When you’re journaling, you don’t want to have distractions. Choose a quiet place to journal and make that your same dedicated space every day. Don’t have things with you when you sit down to write, such as your phone, which can easily distract you when it pings or vibrates.
It may be easier for you to type instead of writing – that’s okay, too! You can even do a combination of writing things down by hand and typing them on a laptop or computer when things come to you. There’s no right or wrong way to journal for your health.
Health Journal Success
It will take time to organize your thoughts and feelings, but writing things down in a health journey can provide the clarity you need to understand and reach your goals more effectively. Remember, you’re not writing for anyone else, so it doesn’t matter what you write, but getting into the habit means setting aside the time to do it every day. Don’t skip a day; just write down anything, even if it’s one little sentence!
Once you begin journaling about your health, you’ll take it more into focus. A study performed at Dominican University discovered that of those who wrote down their goals in group study that 43% either were halfway to reaching them or accomplished them successfully.
There is power in writing things down and recording your health. Positive experiences you want to write about can help put you in a better mood, and understanding your intentions each day or the goals you have to become healthier can be habitual over time, so you’re sure to see success.