Ask An Expert: How To Get Started With JournalingBy amelia richards
Journaling has never been more popular. But how to get started with journaling? Whether you’re looking for a new way to process emotions, you want a helping hand when it comes to making life decisions – big or small – or you are simply curious about what journaling can do for you, putting pen to paper on a regular basis could utterly transform your life.
Fancy trying your hand at keeping a diary or journal but are not sure where to start? Wondering how to start journaling, when to write, what to write about, or how to make sure you get the most out of this life-affirming and transformation process?
From more established systems such as Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages and Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down The Bones, to bullet-point gratitude journaling and writing weekly postcards to yourself, there is no one single way to do it. Journaling is adaptable to your individual needs.
Victoria Jackson, founder of The Manifestation Collective, weighs in on how to get started:
1. Be Perfectly Imperfect
We know that familiar feeling of writing in your new journal with only your best handwriting but decide to make that particular journal beautifully imperfect. Don’t panic if things need to be crossed out, you make a spelling mistake or your handwriting is illegible to anyone but you. Write freely with whatever comes to your head, whether that be a full sentence, words at random or even doodles. There is a particular practice that sums up this style of journaling called Morning Pages. The aim is to sit and write a stream of consciousness for three pages. It can often bring clarity or a solution to a problem and will most definitely help you to feel clearer for the day ahead.
2. Explore Your Feelings
Journaling can be a great tool to sit and reflect on our emotions and ask why we were are feeling a certain way. For example, if you have had a stressful day, getting your journal out at the end of the day and writing everything that comes to mind about how you’re feeling and what has caused it can help release some of that stress tenfold. The key is to continue to ask yourself why. Why do I feel stressed? Because I am tired. Why? Because I’m not sleeping. Why? Because I’m going to bed too late. Why? This way you really get to the route cause rather than glossing over the fact that your body is telling you something isn’t right.
3. Script Your Ideal Day
Scripting, if you are unfamiliar, is a form of journaling as the future you. It’s designed to really help you get into the right frame of mind to attract your manifestations and imagine how your dream life will look like when it comes to fruition. For example, if you are in search of a new job, scripting a diary entry from future you would go something like this: “What a day. The fact that I get to wake up every morning and run my own business is something I’ll never take for granted. I’m now able to have a slower start to the day and I cherish not having that daily commute anymore. I’m over the moon about signing another new client…”. This really gets you into a higher vibration to attract those manifestations into your life.
4. Journal To Plan
One of the most therapeutic ways to spend an afternoon is sitting somewhere comfortable and planning in a journal. Whether that’s planning a big change in your life such as moving house (where would I like to live, what would the house look like, how would I decorate, how much would I like to spend), or maybe you have a baby on the way (what will work look like after this, a list of all the fun things we can do on maternity leave together, what do we need to do to get the nursery finished), using your journaling time to clear your head of ideas and to-do lists is just as beneficial as a Dear Diary moment.
5. Prompts Can Be Your Best Friend
If you find yourself stuck with what to write, the easiest way to start is to ask yourself a series of questions (Pinterest is a great source of inspiration when it comes to journaling prompts). Just some of the many ideas include:
- – Who or what makes me happy?
- – What am I thankful for today?
- – Can I identify one goal that I am excited about? Why am I excited about it?
- – What am I feeling anxious about right now?
- – If I were to plan my perfect day, what would it look like?
- – What message would I give my younger self?
Victoria Jackson is the founder of The Manifestation Collective, a website focused on manifestation, motivation and mindset for the modern woman.
Get more wellbeing inspiration from About Time here.