When journaling is mentioned, one of the pictures that may come into our minds is a woman sitting on her bed and writing in her journal. However, contrary to this idea, men can also journal.
It may interest you to know that great men like Leonardo da Vinci and Mark Twain kept journals. So, if you’re wondering how to start journaling, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out all you have to know about journaling for men.
How to Journal
The following six steps will get you started and ensure that you enjoy journaling every step of the way. So let’s get into it.
1. Select a Medium
Before you start journaling, you have to decide on the medium through which you’ll put down your thoughts. In this digital era, you don’t always have to use pen and paper. There’s a plethora of apps and software that you can use.
The amazing thing is that you can customize these apps to suit your needs. With these, you can journal anywhere and at any time. All you need is your smartphone and connection to the internet.
If you prefer the old-fashioned way of writing, all you need is a diary or a journal and a pen. You should be able to get these from any stationery shop. Also, you can combine both mediums; you never know when you’ll need to write or type something that crosses your mind.
2. Slowly Incorporate Journaling Into Your Daily Routine
Starting a new habit can be challenging. It takes a while to get used to journaling, especially if you’re a beginner. So don’t be in a rush to start writing pages. You can start with a sentence or a paragraph, then move to writing a page.
You’re trying to get used to journaling at this stage, so don’t worry about how many words you can or can’t write. In addition, remember that this is something you’re doing for yourself. No one is going to grade your journal.
At the beginning of your journaling journey, you can try writing at different times to find the best time for you. Also, try writing in different locations: on the bus, in your bedroom, or at the park. All it takes is the right environment to unlock your writing.
3. Set a Time for Journaling
Do you want journaling to be a part of your daily routine? Then set a timer; start with a few minutes a day, then increase it at your own pace. It might take a while to get used to it, especially if it’s your first time, but keep at it.
When it’s time for you to write, set your timer. During this time, focus solely on writing. Pick a time where you know there won’t be distractions. Of course, you can’t always control what happens, and sometimes, you might have to go out of your schedule.
Don’t worry; just ensure that you write something every day. Like we mentioned earlier, you can write a sentence; you don’t have to fill the whole page or write five hundred words in your journaling app.
4. Just Flow
From the second you start writing till you stop, just let the words flow. Write down whatever comes to mind.
Imagine you’re sitting in front of a therapist, and you can say anything you want to and pour those thoughts into your journal. There’s no specific way to write in your journal. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense; you’re not trying to win an award for best writer.
Just write, and continue writing. Write your thoughts, fears, joys, and questions in mind.
Also, don’t be hard on yourself when you’re able to write only a few words. In the beginning, you may not be able to write as much as you want to.
5. Be Consistent
Since there are no strict rules when it comes to journaling, you can be successfully consistent at it. This is because you don’t have to dedicate hours to writing in your journal.
In addition, you can write at any time that’s convenient for you, where you’re sure you won’t be doing anything else. So attempt to be consistent in journaling. For example, if you plan to write at 12:30 pm every day for thirty minutes, make sure you stick to it.
Take it one day at a time. Eventually, you’ll become used to it, and it’ll become a permanent part of your daily routine. However, if you’re struggling with consistency, try rewarding yourself when you don’t miss your journaling appointment; it’ll motivate you to keep on writing.
Another thing to note is that you might still feel like writing outside your fixed journaling schedule. In times like that, don’t be too strict; allow some flexibility. Write even when you’ve already written in your journal, you never know what you might end up writing.
6. You Don’t Have to Limit Yourself to Just Words
One of the first things that come to mind when we mention journaling is writing, but did you know that you’re not limited to words? You can incorporate all kinds of creativity in making entries in your journal.
You can create doodles, drawings, or even use stickers. This might look like a female concept, but if you enjoy it, do it!
Also, you don’t have to be an artist to create designs or make drawings in your journals. If a cloud better describes your thoughts as you’re journaling, then feel free to draw one.
If you’re an artist, this is your opportunity to mix writing and art in a way that can transfer your thoughts from your mind to paper.
Some journaling apps allow you to add photos and videos to your entries. So don’t limit yourself, unleash your creativity, and enjoy yourself in the process.
Why Men Should Journal
The earlier points have explained how to journal, but does journaling have any advantages? Let’s find out.
Provides Motivation for Achieving Your Goals
One of the easiest ways of measuring how far you’ve come is by using a journal. As we’ve discussed earlier, if you’re consistent with journaling, you’ll realize that you write about things that happen every day, even if it’s only a sentence.
And on days that you’re feeling discouraged or uninspired, you can go back and read about your successes, both great and small.
This means that journaling includes reading through what you’ve already written. The purpose of a journal is to write your thoughts, but you should also make it a point to read your entries when you need some motivation.
Of course, it’s necessary to have people around you who encourage you and keep you motivated, but what happens when you need motivation and you can’t get to anyone? This is where your journal comes in, whether it’s on your phone or in your hard copy notebook.
Helps You Focus on Your Thoughts
A journal helps you focus on your thoughts. Let’s face it, sometimes, your thoughts are jumbled up, and only after writing them all down can you figure things out. Expressing your thoughts in a journal can also help you know things about yourself that you never noticed.
If you decide to journal in the morning, you can write your thoughts on the things that happened the previous day, as well as plan for the day.
However, if you choose to write in the afternoon, you can write about something that got you upset in the morning or a compliment from your boss that affected how you think about yourself.
For those who prefer writing in the evening, journaling helps you go through everything that happened in the day. In addition, it enables you to get some much-needed clarity as you pour out your thoughts in your journal.
Allows You to Leave Behind a Memoir
Remember the stories your parents told you about their childhood? Imagine having countless books they kept as journals in your possession. Reading your parents’ journals is an excellent way of connecting with them.
As you read their journals, it’s almost like you’re taking a walk through their past. When you keep journals, you can leave a trace for your children. They may forget the stories you tell them, but with your journals, they can always read your thoughts.
Your journals wouldn’t only be available to your children but future generations. One day, when you’re gone, your journal will speak volumes about your life experiences.
Controls Depression Symptoms
Did you know that journaling can help you control symptoms of depression? Yes, journaling for mental health exists. There may be times where you can’t figure out what’s bothering you. However, when you write your thoughts in your journal, they can become clearer.
In addition, keeping a journal allows you to see the positive side of life. Your mental health is really important, and reading about the good things that have happened to you in your journal can help you build your mental health.
Also, although journals are supposed to be personal, you can show them to your therapist when necessary. It’ll help them in figuring out how to help you. A man’s journal says a lot about what he thinks and how he feels.
Helps You Deal With Stress
From the time you wake up till you go to sleep, your day is probably filled with tons of activities. Journaling allows you to pause and reflect, and this can help you deal with stress.
It’s possible to identify what’s causing stress and anxiety when you transform your thoughts into words or images. It’s also easier to find ways to address issues that are causing stress and anxiety when you have them written down.
Some Journaling Styles to Consider
The amazing thing about journaling is that there are many styles you can use. You can also combine two or more styles; it’s all up to you. Let’s take a look at some of them.
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, this journaling style is for you. As the name suggests, one-sentence journaling involves writing just one sentence to summarise your thoughts.
Writing one sentence a day in your journal might not look like much, but over time, you’ll have a collection of penned-down thoughts that can be a good source of reflection one day.
Calendar journaling involves keeping track of your daily activities. You don’t have to buy a planner to keep a calendar journal. You can use a journal or notebook because you’re free to do as you please on every page.
In addition to writing the tasks you have for the day or week, you can choose to add any other information like addresses or the attire you plan to wear.
Gratitude journaling is by far one of our favorite journaling styles. This journaling style allows you to express your gratitude using words.
You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to share the various things you’re grateful for. It’s easy to lose sight of all the good things that happen to you, especially when you’re always busy. So, every day, write down a list of things you’re grateful for.
Last Words on Journaling for Men
Journaling can be both fun and enlightening, but you have to be consistent. In this article, we’ve seen how you can start your journaling journey and why you need to keep a journal.
We also looked at some journaling styles you can consider. Remember, what matters is consistency and not how many words you’re able to write.
And if you want to feel more motivated to start your journey, you can make a quick search on Google and find some interesting journals for men.