Life seems to move at an ever increasing pace and we move further away from our roots on the land. Writing in fresh air and nature journaling can help to relieve stress. If you’ve never journaled before, then these tips can help you get started and let you discover the grounding effect of nature.
- It doesn’t matter what you use. Currently I’m using a Moleskine Classic Large (which I got in an Officeworks sale for $5) but if for some reason I don’t have that with me then I’ve jotted notes on my phone, in a cheap exercise book or on the back of boarding pass.
- While consistency of practice is good, don’t make journaling another task on your to do or hold yourself to unrealistic schedules. Being unrealistic or overly strict in your approach to journaling puts yourself at risk of further stress. I journal when something inspires me, when I’m in a new place or when I’m struggling with an issue or anxiety. It can be months between journal entries.
- Find some journaling prompts to help you get started. PyschCentral has 30 self reflection and self discovery prompts to help out. I keep print outs of prompts and turn them into flash cards so that I can randomly select a prompt when struggling for an idea. This approach also works for experienced journalers; as it provides an opportunity to deeply reflect on a topic.
Find inspiring places to start your journaling and grounding journal. These do not have to be far flung Indian ashrams but simple local places that speak to you. One of my favourite places to journal is Sea, Salt and Vine Café in Scarborough. Over a coffee or cold drink (depending on the whether) I can people watch, dog watch, look at the water and boats in the harbour or look further out towards the Glasshouse Mountains and Bribe Island. There is no end of inspiration and grounding opportunities.
- Another option to get started is to go to a workshop or group. Paperbark Writer runs workshops and nature journaling groups in south east Queensland. Nature journaling combines art and writing. In my journal, I have a very badly drawn baby hippopotamus from a trip to Taronga Park Zoo; this was my first experience of nature journaling and it’s something that I intend continuing.
Benefits of Journaling
Journaling can assist you to work through problems in your life by giving you distance from the problem. By writing your worries and troubles down, you can gain perspective as the emotional reaction is removed from words on paper. By reducing your worries in this way, journaling can assist you to re-ground yourself in the present moment and assist in a journey of mindful living.
A journal can become your secret confidant, you can share those hopes and dreams that you have for your future. By sharing them in the journal, they can begin to move from wishes to concrete actions.
You’re never too old or too young to enjoy the grounding benefits of journaling in nature. Take the plunge and enjoy it.
NB I don’t accept sponsorship for blog posts. Any people, businesses, websites or tools mentioned in my posts are because I personally have found them helpful.