The simplest ideas can be the most effective.

Writing a journal, taking a thought from your mind and writing it down becomes a "visual". You can see how you feel.

This is your own private space where you can express yourself. You don't have to be a professional writer and your thoughts might be a few sentences. It really doesn't matter. Start your journal every day with three positive thoughts or three things you are grateful for on that particular day. This can be as simple as "the sun was out today" or "I had more energy today" or even "My favourite song was played on the radio as I was driving to work".

The aim here is to make you more positive by looking for the things that make you happier in life and giving less power to the negative emotions that can overwhelm you during your everyday life. There are some great apps out there too (if you prefer this to a paper journal), that can prompt and remind you to write these positive thoughts down daily until it becomes a productive and worthwhile habit. Presently App (Minimal Daily Journal) This little app is free and allows you to jot down a few words of gratitude, encouraging you to look for the positive rather than negative thoughts or occasions during your day.

Journaling has some real health benefits too. Writing removes mental blocks and permits you to have a better understanding of yourself and others, manages emotions and feelings and encourages emotional intelligence. Start your journaling journey to reap these benefits:

1. Understanding your thoughts: Do you ever feel confused by how you feel? One minute you seem happy and the next you seem out of balance and unsure why? Jotting your feelings down in your journal regularly will help you to see your emotions clearly and get you in touch with your internal self.

2. Gratitude: Writing daily about all the grateful moments will help you see the positive side to your day. Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, improve health and relish good experiences. A gratitude journal on reflection, can enhance your mood and brighten a dull day. This can all be accomplished in just a few words a day.

3. Get to know yourself better: By writing daily you will start to understand what makes you happy. You will take a journey of self discovery, grasping what is needed in your life to stabilise your mental health. Anything you deem toxic or unhealthy will help you decide what you need to remove or 'walk away' from, to strengthen your emotional well-being.

4. Productive journaling: There are some very useful productive journals to help you look at how you manage your time. If you feel you never accomplish enough or constantly run out of time, then this will be of great help to you. Writing down your days activities will 'shine a light' on the way you work to help you become more productive. The journal will create a record of your progress, allowing you to reflect on your day's activities and see where you can improve.

5. Mindfulness and Journaling: Our minds are full of internal chatter and constantly engaged in many thoughts all at the same time. Mindful journaling allows you to have a full conversation with yourself to bring your issues to the forefront instead of brushing them under the rug. Mindful journaling allows you time to confront your thoughts, feelings and concerns head on. Reflection is such an enormous part of your personal growth and when you are writing your daily journal , you leave the internal chatter behind and move to the present moment.

How to begin journaling

Your journaling will be most effective to you, if you do this daily. Make sure you put a little time aside to complete your daily journal. Depending on your type of journal, this could be as little as a few minutes a day. A gratitude journal can be just a few words that describe the moments of happiness and gratitude in your day. A productive or budget planner may take a little more of your time. However, all journals are your own personal growth programmes. You will reap the benefits whether you spend a couple of minutes or 20 minutes per day? The main ingredient to journaling is reflection and consistency. The time spent on reflection will be the learning process and adjustments that will help bring some peace to your mind and promote your emotional well-being.

Author's Bio: 

Catherine is a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer and founder of Healthy Forever Fitness Motivation.
Her mission is to help everyone stay active and live a healthy and happy life. Catherine promotes all things 'positive' and believes that all aspects of health can work together in harmony. A healthy body and mind, together with good nutrition will achieve optimal health