The aim of writing in a journal is not to create the next best-seller for the world to read. A journal is simply a collection of your personal thoughts. No-one needs to read your journal if you don’t want them to. And although it may seem weird or un-natural at first, you will quickly start to see the benefits and create a beautiful practice.
Some of the core benefits from journaling are around dealing with negative or worrisome thoughts in our minds, and on the flip-side creating motivation, joy and gratitude.
Journaling will help everyone in different ways but here are some things it could do for you:
- · to clarify worries
- · to follow thought paths in our mind, to reach new directions
- · to check in with your goals
- · to release emotions
- · to better connect with your values
- · to help solve problems
- · to reduce stress
- · to organise your thoughts
'In my life, writing has been an important exercise to clarify what I believe, what I see, what I care about, what my deepest values are. The process of converting a jumble of thoughts into coherent sentences makes you ask tougher questions'
There are so many different writing techniques you can use to start to journal, and there is no right or wrong formula. Just writing the thoughts from your head is a simple way to start.
I don't actually resonate with the word 'journalling' so I just love to think of it as writing thoughts down. To me, journalling or daily writing is the simple act of taking thoughts out of your head and putting them down on paper. And right now, I feel we all need this.
You can think of it like creating a to-do list, or a done list, or a pro's and con's list. Whatever resonates most with you, its perfect.
If you are needing some direction, or feel better with a task to respond to, below are some great ways to begin:
Morning pages – as soon as you wake up, start writing down every thought in your head. There is no editing and no reading back, just get it all out.
Gratitudes – writing out everything you are grateful for. Small things, big things, personal or worldwide, everything and anything. What a way to start the day on a positive note
Daily script – write out your ideal day. A great prompt for the mornings, that you write in the past tense, as if the day has already happened. Detail how you would love your day to look like. Include all the activities, actions and how you felt (this is the most important part)
Life script - write out how your ideal like looks. Where will you live, what will it look like, how does it make you feel, what do you do for work, what do you do for play, who is in your life, how do you feel about everything. This writing is perfect for forecasting your vision. A great visualisation tool to call into your life exactly what you want.
As I mentioned, I love writing or journalling just to get the things out of my head and free up space for new inspiration and creativity. Write letters and notes and then delete them or throw them in the rubbish if you want to. It is a calming way to release and let it all go.
If you are not sure where to start with free form writing, here are some prompts a try.
- · What am I grateful for?
- · What am I fearful of?
- · I feel excited when…
- · I feel empowered when…
- · If I could share one message with the world it would be…
- · What am I scared of?
- · What is my greatest achievement? What am I most proud of?
- · What lights me up?
- · If I could do one thing all day, it would be…
- · Where do I see myself in a years’ time?
- · What’s my one goal in life?
- · What’s one thing I can do for myself today?
- · How can I take better care of myself?
- · I would like to forgive…………., for………
- · Dear……. (who would you love to send a letter to?)
I hope you find this helpful and maybe something you could try today if you have never tried daily writing before. Right now, our minds need all the support they can get.