Think of all the beautiful dreams you have had at night, only to wake up and feel their memory slip away from you. Consider all the times you have cuddled up under the blankets, your head so spinning with thoughts that you won't fall asleep for at least another hour.
Do you toss and turn at the beginning of the night, unable to settle down? What about nighttime anxiety? Is that a problem for you? If any of these problems sound familiar, you may want to check out these tips about journaling. Whether you are nine years old and just received your first diary or you are 90 years old and have been an active journal-keeper for life, journaling at night can benefit you in so many ways.
What Exactly is a Journal and How Do You Keep One?
A journal is a book where you scribe your thoughts. It can go by other names, like:
- day-by-day account book
- personal logbook
- commonplace book
- creative life planner
You can find beautiful journals with leather covers, journals with lines, journals with bullets, journals with plain pages or multi-colored pages. There truly is a journal for every personality. Don't want to splurge on something fancy? Buy a cheap school notebook. That works, too!
Keeping a journal is a habit, and like any good habit, you'll want to do it frequently, so you enjoy its full benefits. The key to journaling is the physical act of writing. You can write about anything, so long as you put your pen to paper and keep the thoughts flowing. Even the word "writing" is a loose term. You could draw, doodle, make lists, compose poetry, or use a combination of methods.
Now, this brings us to the big technology question. Can a journal be typed? The answer is yes, it can. Many people keep journal-type blogs or save journals typed into a word processor. However, in this article, we're talking about journaling in bed. There is scientific evidence that looking at a screen before going to sleep may keep you awake when you are trying to catch some zzz's. We recommend an actual, physical pen and paper journal.
What Can You Write in a Journal?
Some people put their pens in motion and words come out as if by magic. Others need a little inspiration to get the journaling juices running. If you're stuck for ideas, try writing about:
- your day's events
- what you thought about today
- a conversation you had
- a conversation you overheard
- your plans for the next day
- your life in story form
- a list of the food you ate today
- a list of sounds you heard
- what you would like to dream about tonight
- current events
- a prayer
- a quote you love
- instructions to yourself for tomorrow
- count your blessings, one by one
Anything goes in a journal! Even if you believe what you're writing is silly, the act of writing is often therapeutic. Plus, you're getting into a great habit!
Health Benefits of Journaling
What can happen when you journal? You'll feel better in more ways than one. Start with mental health. Journaling helps you gain control of your emotions. Write down what you are feeling, what bothers you, what makes you smile when you feel depressed or anxious. When you become aware of your emotions, you begin to gain some control over them. You can work on being mindful of your feelings, so you know when to take a break, when to do some deep breathing exercises, and when you feel confident enough to work on something big. The habit of journaling gives you more self-awareness and therefore boosts your confidence. Watch yourself blossom under the individual therapy of journaling.
We know that stress is a significant negative factor to our health in this busy age. Journaling provides an outlet that helps reduce stress. When you journal your day's events or thoughts before bed, you're using that time to manage your stress. You can pinpoint the stress factors in your life and let go of unimportant things. Less stress equals better overall physical, mental, and emotional health.
Go to bed happy, not sad! Journaling gives you a boost of pleasure that can turn the last moments of your day into something very positive. Try journaling about the day's sunset, or a wildflower you noticed in your yard. Be super creative and enjoy the mood boost it gives you.
Give your brain a boost, too! Journaling sharpens your memory, keeping all those cognitive thinking gears oiled and in good working order. You use a lot of different parts of your brain when you write, so you are doing yourself a favor when you make journaling a daily habit. It's like exercising another muscle in your body. With time, journaling strengthens your brain so it can do more!
Journaling also encourages a lot of other useful health habits, such as getting good sleep, exercising, eating healthy, and paying attention to your pain level. How does it do all these things? It's mostly about being more self-aware and using that awareness to work positive changes into your life. Once you are in one good habit, it's easier to get into other good habits.
So, Why Should You Journal?
With so many positive reasons for journaling, which one is going to convince you to begin? And which benefit will compel you to turn it into a habit? These are questions only you can answer.
Do you shake your head and think, "I can't write?” That's a great reason to try it. Every moment of your day is worth writing down. Even the ideas floating around in your imagination are worth writing down. Pick up your pen and journal and begin writing! You don't need complete sentences. Nobody is peeking over your shoulder to correct your grammar. It's just you and your words. Give yourself a treat that gives back tenfold. Start a pre-bedtime journal habit tonight.Once you get the perfect journal for yourself, you need to work on getting the perfect bed for yourself! Nest Bedding has everything you need to fit your lifestyle, from mattresses to comforters. Contact us about all things bedding today.