I try to keep this space more of a positive spin on the things I love: traveling, journaling, and the excitement I feel to empower women and their solo journeys. I don’t often mention it, but this year has been tough for me… and I am not sure why. When you don’t know why you’re feeling off and depressed, it is hard to define it in words and to strangers. And for years I assumed nobody wanted to see the real stuff I was struggling with, which is why I mainly stuck to the pretty, curated moments on this here blog. But here’s the thing: opening up not only feels cathartic (albeit a bit intimidating) – it’s also an opportunity for deeper discussions that remind us we’re not alone.
Recently, when I was talking to a dear friend about my struggles, she suggested I start writing down all the things that make me really, truly happy. I explained to her I was an avid journaler, always chronically my days and weeks in my journal. But this was something different. She called it “Joy Journaling” and like any good journalist, I came home and instantly googled it. I didn’t see anything really relevant about it, so I knew I needed to share it here with you. Especially after doing it.
As I did more research about the feeling of joy while actually journaling, some interesting facts about it emerged. According to this article, “Medical science has discovered what we writers have known for a long time…the benefits of journaling. According to research documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association, April 14, 1999, persons suffering from asthma and rheumatoid arthritis significantly reduce symptoms by ‘expressive writing.’ Writing about (stressful) life events helps to put things into perspective.”
So are you feeling down? No shame people, we’ve all been there at some point or another. Maybe try this method the next time you pick up your journal . It puts your wonderful, glorious, messy, and sometimes complicated life into perspective. At least it did for me, and at this point it was exactly what I needed.
How does Joy Journaling Work?
The idea of joy journaling is basically just writing down everything that brings you JOY. Pure and simple. Start thinking about what has brought you happiness over the last days, months and years. It can be something very simple (the sound of my baby giggling) to a complex moments that make up a life (the feeling of love I have for my significant other). Use my list below to get you started, but think of anything that brings you joy!
What can you Joy Journal about?
- Moments where you felt the happiest
- Things that made you laugh just thinking about them
- People that you love
- Your strengths
- Activities you loved to do as a kid
- Appreciation towards others
- Places that give you peace and joy
- Things you love to do, smell, taste and see
- Your accomplishments
This is just the beginning.
Helpful Joy of Journaling resources
Journaling For Joy: Writing Your Way to Personal Growth and Freedom by Joyce Chapman
Joy Journal: Make Joy a Daily Experience (Volume 1) by Rebecca Kochenderfer
Journaling Joy: 101 Journal Writing Prompts for When You’re Stuck by Grace C. Storms