Ways Journaling Outdoors Can Benefit and Inspire You

Ways Journaling Outdoors Can Benefit and Inspire You

By Julia Morrissey

The practice of journaling outdoors can provide excellent benefits to individuals. By keeping a journal, you can improve your mental health, boost your emotional intelligence, and even enhance your memory. When you add an extra layer to journaling and commit to doing some or all of the practice outdoors, you can expect to form even deeper connections with yourself and nature. This post discusses the benefits of journaling and hones in on the specific ways journaling open air can help you. You’ll also find some examples of journals you can start keeping as well as prompts to help you get started.

 

Ways Journaling Outdoors Can Benefit and Inspire You 2Benefits of Journaling Outdoors

Journaling can help push you to achieve your goals and feel more prepared to take on life’s challenges. It can also be a fun and fulfilling experience that brings you joy. Below are some of the main benefits of journaling.

 

1. Raises Self-Confidence

Depending on what type of journal you decide to keep and what purpose you want to journal for, there are several ways that journaling can improve your self-confidence. For example, a bullet journal to stay organized, can help you feel more in control of your schedule, and therefore, more confident in yourself and your abilities. A journal where you self-reflect can help you combat negative thoughts and learn to think more positively about yourself. You can also keep a change journal to understand how you are growing as an individual so that you can feel more comfortable and engaged with your journey.

 

2. Boosts Mental Health

Taking the time to journal can help you alleviate stress, manage anxiety, and cope with depression. As noted above, journaling can improve self-confidence, which can improve mental health. It can also be a place for you to write down your thoughts, organize your ideas, and problem solve. Through journaling you can develop a better understanding of what problems you’re facing, what your fears are, and any concerns you may have.

It’s also well established that nature benefits mental health. Journaling outside can help you further improve your mental health. Sitting in a beautiful outdoor area, such as by the ocean or in a garden, can make you feel more at ease and connected.

 

Snowy landscape3. Improves Physical Health

Not only has journaling outdoors been shown to have mental health benefits, but it can also positively impact your physical health. In particular, expressive writing has been shown to provide physical health benefits. These self-reported benefits include: improved liver function, reduced blood pressure, improved immune system functioning, and improved athletic performance.

Of course, being outdoors is also a way to enhance your physical health. Being outside can help you become more active. Thus, by walking to one of your favorite spots to write an entry, you can further improve your physical health.

 

4. Magnifies Creativity

An excellent way to harness your creative energy is by keeping a journal. You can jot down your thoughts and ideas or even doodle or draw images that are meaningful to you. A creative journal can help bolster your imagination and aid you in finding new inspiration. Journaling outdoors in a place that also inspires you, can also help drive your creative process. Hike to the top of your favorite lookout and let your imagination flow onto paper.

 

Elephants

 

5. Refines Communication and Writing Skills

If you frequently journal, you can expect that this will help you not only learn how to write well but also improve your communication skills. The more you write the more your vocabulary will grow. Additionally, you can learn to express yourself clearly and meaningfully on paper. This can also translate into how you communicate thoughts and ideas verbally. You’ll be able to articulate your desires better, which can help you make sure you’re getting what you want and need from yourself and others.

 

Iceland waterfall6. Helps with Goal Achievement

Part of setting an attainable goal is making sure the goal is a SMART goal. A smart goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. Writing down a goal that has all of these characteristics can make achieving that goal not only easier but more likely. When you record and track a goal on paper, for example a goal related to finishing a challenging hike, it can make it feel much more tangible, and therefore, help you stay motivated.

 

7. Heightens Memory

Research has shown that handwriting information down, particularly when compared to typing, is an effective way to memorize it. A journal can help you record thoughts and memories, such as a great trip, so that you can go back and revisit them. It’s ideal to take notes during your day or a particular experience. You can always go back and expand on them that night or a few days later. A travel journal is a great way to capture memories and keep them close to you.

 

 

Types of Journals You Can Start Keeping

What type of journal you want to keep (and you can of course keep multiple types) is up to you! You should aim to find the journal type that works best for you and helps you meet your unique goals. Below are several types of journals, in addition to some of the examples we’ve mentioned thus far, that you might consider. You’ll also find a visual from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences which showcases additional types of journal as well as journal prompts to help you get started.

 

  • Question Journal: Write down questions that you want to answer.
  • Idea Journal: Ideal for “brain dumping” and letting your stream-of-consciousness flow.
  • Transfer Journal: Record how you hope to learn from a past or present experience.
  • 5 Ws Journal: Highlight the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where, Why) to help commit an event to memory.
  • Reading Journal: Take notes on a book you’re reading to help remember concepts or ideas that interest you.
  • Double-entry Journal: Write down a specific concept or phrase on the left-side of the page and record your thoughts or reaction to that idea on the right-side of the page.

 

 

Journaling types
Infographic Courtesy of usa.edu

 

Guest Blogger at

Julia Morrissey is a content creator who writes compelling stories and develops helpful guides. Her passion for creative writing and advocacy has led her to cover a range of unique topics. She lives in New York City and enjoys spending her free time with her rescue dog Maya, jogging in Central Park, and finding new vegan dining options around the city.

27 thoughts on “Ways Journaling Outdoors Can Benefit and Inspire You

  • October 15, 2020 at 3:38 pm
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    Totally agree with you on this one, I always find that it helps me to create ideas and reflect on thoughts x

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  • October 15, 2020 at 1:35 pm
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    I just started journaling recently and find it so helpful for clarifying my thoughts and processing my experiences. There are so many other great benefits that you mentioned including helping to achieve your goals. I can attest to that one! Thank you for including all of the helpful templates too!

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  • October 15, 2020 at 10:19 am
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    I love journalling and I have a few different kinds on the go. It’s lovely to be able to write outside, such a mental health boost .

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  • October 15, 2020 at 1:40 am
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    Journaling can be such a postive thing to do and inspiring to look back on as well as motivate you. for the future – I do try and journal when I can but lack time at the moment

    Laura x

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  • October 14, 2020 at 8:44 am
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    I have been using journaling to some extent during my travels which helps me to stay focused. It helps me too in retention of events which makes my writing later about the experiences much smoother and easier. But being honest I never knew so much about the benefits. That it also improves mental health and boosts emotional intelligence is also of great importance. Loved learning about the different journals that one could keep..

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  • October 14, 2020 at 1:33 am
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    I journal most times. I love to write down things, paint, and draw, or even doodle. That is during my travels or when I am at a bus stop or something. I love the points that you have provided about what to journal. The most interesting is writing the questions that need to be answered. I have always written what comes to my mind at that point in time but never really wrote down the questions and finding answers to them. That is so cool, I will try it next time.

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  • October 13, 2020 at 5:25 pm
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    I have always been on and off journaling often giving up because of laziness. But I have seen how it positively impacts both my mental and physical health and does help increase creativity. Though I have never really thought about journaling outdoors but I can see your point. Journaling in the open air when the mind is free of stress and the body is closer to nature can definitely result in higher productivity.

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  • October 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm
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    I so agree with all of the benefits of journaling but I have not done it outdoors yet. I might just give it a try after the pandemic is over.

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  • October 13, 2020 at 12:46 pm
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    I think I agree with this. Journaling does help a great deal in terms of mental health and creativity. It’s also quite relaxing. Nice read.

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  • October 13, 2020 at 7:45 am
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    I love camping and journaling in the outdoors. I agree it does inspire you. I can’t wait to enjoy this when we can go again next year.

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  • October 13, 2020 at 3:32 am
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    I totally agree with everything you have said! I journal my travels in general but get pretty detailed with my hike experiences. It not only helps in keeping me motivated like you mentioned, but also helps me realize the value of each experience I have had!

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  • October 13, 2020 at 1:09 am
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    I knew that journalling carried many great benefits for your mental and emotional health, but I had no idea that it could have such a big impact on your physical health too! I have been talking about getting into bullet journalling for a while now and I’m not sure why I haven’t pulled the trigger. I’m starting to think that it might be time to make it happen!

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  • October 12, 2020 at 10:24 pm
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    Yep, I agree journaling outdoors has all these benefits. It definitely magnifies creativity. However, for me, it was never easy to concentrate on reading or writing when I’m outside, in nature. I tried doing it on the beach, or when we went camping. But I get very easily distracted, lol!

    Reply
  • October 12, 2020 at 5:48 pm
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    I definitely have an Ideas journal where I dump all of my thoughts, plans, ideas out…and tick them off as I complete them. I also love to write them down as I get ideas as I’m doing so.

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  • October 12, 2020 at 4:39 pm
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    Love journaling, I do it almost daily. Honestly, I think this is also why I love blogging so much too, it’s writing and I love writing. My favorite is sitting out on the patio in the evening with my journals

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  • October 11, 2020 at 7:05 pm
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    Journaling in the lap of nature is something great. It provides mental peace and provides us internal strength.

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  • October 11, 2020 at 4:11 pm
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    Having a nice journal is really good, whether being at home or out camping. It really helps to visualize thoughts and prioritize ideas to act on, esp., on long term ideas & goals than a digital one. I have this cute journal that inspired my travel across Europe. I agree, its great for mental health too. My gal is still too small to write or draw. I can’t wait to introduce her to her first journal!

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  • October 11, 2020 at 10:25 am
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    I love camping. I was recently on a camping trip in northern Italy and I definitely agree with all the items on your list, especially number 2. I think it’s so nice to stay in nature for a few days and just relax from today’s modern and hectic society.

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  • October 10, 2020 at 2:44 pm
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    I absolutely loved this blog post about journaling outdoors! I practice journaling every day by writing what I am grateful for presently and what my future goals are. Journaling outdoors helps ground yourself much more than just journaling in your bedroom or office. Connecting with nature brings me so much peace and really positively impacts my mental health. Thank you for sharing!

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  • October 10, 2020 at 11:03 am
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    I absolutely LOVE this. At first I thought this post was going to be about journalling about nature – which is something my kiddo did at school, but soon got tired of analyzing pieces of nature. It didn’t seem personal enough to her. But then I realized you were talking about journal IN nature and being surrounded by it, while writing. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. We’re homeschooling and I am definitely going to add this to our schedule. Such a wonderful way my daughter and I can bond and write together outside.It’s so true, when days were tough during the pandemic in the spring and summer, I would go out in the patio and write in my book. It helped remind me to be grateful. And even if it was to list my groceries or my lengthy to do list – I still felt great doing it cuz I was doing it outside. Thank you for your insight on this!

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  • October 10, 2020 at 1:13 am
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    I love the idea journal and being outside would just bring me peace. Thank you for showing us we don’t have to write journals in a traditional way we can use bullet points… My favorite form of writing!

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  • October 9, 2020 at 5:03 pm
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    What a great idea to journal outdoors! I will try this out soon.

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  • October 9, 2020 at 4:45 pm
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    I used to consistently journal my prayers. I need to start doing that again.

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  • October 9, 2020 at 12:20 pm
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    I used to do outdoor journaling all the time with my class when I was a teacher. It always helped the kids be able to relax and focus when they were outside.

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  • October 8, 2020 at 11:19 pm
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    Can’t wait till my girls are old enough to go camping!

    Reply

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