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    Write to the Heart of It: The Benefits of Journaling

    Write to the Heart of It: The Benefits of Journaling During the Holidays

    Whether we’re overly stressed, missing loved ones who are gone or can’t be with us, or excited and overwhelmed at all that’s on the horizon, it’s healthy to recognize those emotions.

    Journaling is a method of recording your thoughts, experiences and emotions. And there are many benefits of keeping a journal, especially during the holidays. Journaling can serve as a healthy outlet in which you can open up about yourself (in a private way) and explore the thoughts and feelings that surround everything going on in your life.

    Another benefit of journaling is “dropping in” on yourself, and measuring or tracking your progress. According to the Mental Health America website, whether you’re managing a new situation, coping with a crisis, or just trying to have a better understanding of yourself, journaling can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health. Clearly, the benefits of journaling outweigh the time it may take to do it.

    "Write without worry. Remember, there are no rules."

    When it comes to keeping a journal, there are no rules. Journaling is your own private arena to discuss whatever you want. Try these tips to get started this holiday season:

    • Find a journal medium fit for you. A notebook, computer, mobile device — there are many ways you can keep a journal. Everyone has their own writing style, so it’s important you choose the method that works best for you.
    • Do it your way. There are many types of journals — reflective journals, gratitude journals, even drawing and painting journals. A journal can be anything you want it to be, so use it as you see fit. Writing in a journal is one of the few places where you get to do it your way!
    • Write without worry. Remember, there are no rules. This isn’t English class, so don’t worry about formatting, spelling or grammar. You don’t even have to write in complete sentences — this only has to make sense to you!
    • Choose a safe, quiet place to journal. This is a time of personal reflection and relaxation. It requires solitude and no interruptions. Try writing in a place that’s relaxing and soothing — maybe with a nice scented candle and a cup of tea.
    • Keep your journal private. Get a book that locks or keep it hidden. If you use a computer, password-protect your journal. It’s yours and yours alone!
    • Establish a daily routine. Set aside 20 minutes a day to write in your journal — in the morning as a way to start your day, or before bed as a way to reflect upon the day’s events.

    The benefits of keeping a journal cannot be expressed enough. Journaling can be a powerful tool that helps you take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, actions, and ultimately, your physical health.

    Instead of being weighed down by your emotions, try journaling to help you handle this holiday season. You’ll be healthier — and happier — for it.

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