The benefits of a journaling practice are well documented. From clarifying your thoughts and feelings to reducing stress to simply knowing yourself better, journaling can support you as you look to show up more fully in your life.
I believe in the power of journaling. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been journaling and the truth of something I was wrestling with suddenly showed up. I truly believe there is a light that shows up at the end of your pen when you’re journaling, which illuminates the dark places that you cannot see.
But I know a lot of people have a hard time with journaling. So today I am sharing three different things you can try as a way to start a journaling practice.
This is perhaps the easiest way to begin journaling. It’s simple and only requires you to make it a habit to intentionally set aside the time to do it.
At the end of the day, write a list of 5 things for which you are grateful. Your list can come from events from the day or from life in general, whatever it is that comes to mind for you. You can have more than 5 things but not less; the minimum is 5.
You can stop at creating your list of 5 things or you can go a step further with your gratitude journal by picking one item on your list and writing, in detail, why you are grateful for it. Taking this extra step will further deepen the benefits that come from keeping a gratitude journal.
You can keep your list in a notebook or journal and there are several apps out there that you can use.
This is perhaps my favorite way to cultivate a consistent journaling practice. Morning Pages is a concept introduced by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist Way. She suggests writing 3 pages in your journal every morning. No matter how big or small your journal, you fill 3 pages minimum and your writing is to be stream of conscious, which means you simply write what comes to mind without directing it in a specific direction.
Stream of conscious writing offers no judgment and just lets the words come. Your pen should stay on your paper until you’ve filled 3 pages. You may run out of things to write but in that case Julia says to write, “I don’t know what to write” or something along those lines until more words come to you.
It may be difficult for you to do morning pages in the morning in which case you can do it in the evening as part of your evening routine. The key is that you make it a practice to put pen to paper every day (or at least almost every day) to allow space for your truth to show up.
Follow A Prompt
If you want to move past writing a list and aren’t quite up to doing Morning Pages then following prompts is a great middle of the road approach. You don’t have to come up with a topic to write about because someone else is providing it for you. This takes the pressure off and leaves you free to just write.
I’ve created a list of 30 prompts to help you get started. You can work through them in order or you can pick a prompt at random to write about. I challenge you to fill at least one page of your journal in response to the prompt; two would be even better. The goal, however, is that you simply write. You can download the list here.
Rarely is the truth of what’s really happening in life found on the surface. Journaling is a wonderful tool to help you uncover the things hidden just below the surface.
It might feel difficult to get started but it will be worth it for you to give it a try. Start with the prompts or a gratitude list and gradually work your way up to Morning Pages. I really do believe it will change how you experience your life.
Here’s to you rising into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,
I would love to know, what does your journaling practice look like? Share in the comments below or head over to Facebook and let me know.