Why and How to Journal

Benefits, How-To and Prompts

We often blog about journaling or touch upon some aspect of it in our blogs. Despite it being a well-known tool and easily available at everyone’s disposal, it’s underused. Journaling is an excellent tool to manage overwhelming emotions - it’s a healthy way to express feelings and work through them. Read on to learn more about why journaling helps, how to journal and a few prompts to give you an idea of how to get started.

 Journaling benefits

According to the University of Rochester’s Medical Center

Journaling can help to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Manage anxiety
  • Cope with depression
  • Heal physical injuries faster - read more about it in the Scientific American.

Why journaling helps

How does journaling do this? 

  • Journaling provides a means to create positive self-talk - identifying negative thoughts and behaviours.
  • You can better put into perspective concerts, fears, and problems.
  • In your journal, you can record and track symptoms in order to discover triggers and better ways to manage them.

Discovering the key to what is causing stress and anxiety in your life can be made more simple through journaling. Once you’ve identified the stressor, working on a plan to relieve the stress and possibly resolve the problem will be easier. 

Of course, journaling alone won’t solve all problems but paired with other healthy habits such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, a good diet, and enough sleep, it will be a beneficial tool.

How to journal

how to journal


Here are some tips to get you started with journaling:

  • Write whatever feels right. Journaling shouldn’t feel forced. If you prefer structure, then use journal prompts. If you are more of a free-flow thinker, then you won’t want the structure.
  • Writing every day will help you to obtain benefits from journaling. It will also make writing flow more freely. However, don’t let it become a chore as it could lead to more stress.
  • You should find a journal that you enjoy writing in. Of course, we can help you with that. Be sure to check out our inventory of journals here

5 Reasons Journaling is so Powerful

how to journal
  1. Write to process your thoughts. When you sit down and have a good chat with a friend, it’s not so much to find a solution to a problem. It’s more about processing the issue or event. Journaling can do the same thing. It puts the concern into the present and gives you a new perspective on it.
  2. Journal for clarity. Offloading conscious and subconscious thoughts helps to provide you with clarity leading to a sense of calm.
  3. Reduce the overwhelm. Getting your thoughts onto paper gets them out of your head or at least reduces the intensity.
  4. Reveal patterns. Read your journal and you may more easily discover patterns in your behaviour. This can give you a chance to examine your behaviours and change them moving forward.
  5. Change your story. We all tend to stick to the same narrative when retelling our stories. According to Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries in the Harvard Business Review through his workshops, he gets executives to write about difficult episodes. They then create a new narrative by reframing their story in a more balanced way. This then allows them to move beyond the event. 

Journaling Prompts for Different Occasions

journal prompts


  • What can wait until another day?
  • When do I feel most myself?
  • What do I know is true now that I didn’t know before?
  • What gets in my way of being myself?

Prompts for Emotions

  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What is causing the way I am feeling?
  • What emotions do I feel that are unnecessary?

Prompts to Help with Anxiety 

  • What am I doing right now?
  • What prompted the shift in my mood?
  • Write a list of your worries.

If you're interested in getting a journal or adding to your collection, come in to Paper Papier or you can shop online.

 journals at Paper Papier