How to start journaling

May 25, 2023 | Benefits of journaling

Carving out a bit of time for yourself to reflect and offload is much needed amongst the busyness of life. Journaling can give you that space and take you on a journey of self-discovery that can help you navigate the ups and downs of whatever your days throw at you.

If you’ve decided you’d like to have a go, you might be wondering what on earth you’d write… how do you actually start journaling?

Journaling is personal and so is the medium you use. Choose a way of recording your thoughts that resonates with you. You might want to use a beautiful notebook and fountain pen, a small sketchpad and a Sharpie or go digital and use an app. It needs to feel right so it inspires you to write.

If you can, create a calm space where you can journal without getting distracted. Make it into a little ritual. Perhaps light a scented candle, listen to some soothing music and take a few deep breaths to centre yourself before beginning. An inviting atmosphere will help you relax and tune in to your thoughts and means you look forward to your journaling session (which is great for turning it into a habit).

When you first start to journal it can be helpful to use writing prompts for inspiration – these are a good way to begin as they encourage you to focus on specific areas and delve into your thoughts around those. You can download a free beginner’s journal sheet here. Prompts can be quite simple or more complex depending on what you hope to get out of your journaling practice.

Which leads me nicely on to setting an intention. Journaling can help to improve how you feel in lots of different ways. What are you trying to achieve?

Do you need to reduce overwhelm and stress?

Build some planning into your journaling to stop your brain flitting from one thing to another so you’ll feel more organised, and make sure to include a little me time in our planning too.

Do you want to feel happier?

Use your journal to focus on what you’re grateful for and all the good things that are going on in your life.

Are you trying to make a decision?

Write down the pros and cons and journal about the possible outcomes and how they make you feel.

Do you want to feel more optimistic?

Journaling about all the things that could go right rather than getting bogged down in worry about what might go wrong.

You get the idea…

It’s important to understand that your journal is a safe space. It’s just for you. No-one else needs to see it, there are no right or wrong answers and there is no need for judgement. Be honest, be compassionate towards yourself and give yourself permission to freely explore your thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams.

As you make progress along your journaling journey take a moment every so often to look back and reflect on what you wrote last week, last month, last year. Time and experience bring a fresh perspective and you’ll be able identify any patterns that might need addressing and celebrate your personal growth.

By starting a journaling practice, and committing to it, you can enhance your overall wellbeing and feel empowered to get the most out of every day. How to start journaling? Start small and simple. Grab your free Simple Daily Journal Sheet here and set off on your journaling adventure.

I’ll be right here if you need me.

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