Journaling is a great way to develop self-awareness, let go of emotions and record your life. Self-awareness is the key to change and its power cannot be under-estimated. I have been astounded at times when I have picked up a pen in an upset moment at what has been revealed… sub-conscious beliefs I had no idea I held. Once they make their way to the surface, we can change them if they no longer serve us.
Journaling is very cathartic -the act of writing how we feel releases the energy driving the emotion and calms us. Better to vent your rage onto a page than a person. The page won’t take umbrage and is very forgiving!
Journaling can be helpful when you are seeking clarity about something. It can help you access how you really feel and connect you to your inner intuition.
I don’t put pressure on myself. Sometimes I have periods where I journal daily, other times I just write when there is something special I want to record. It should be enjoyable, not stressful.
To get yourself started if you haven’t written a journal before, I recommend adopting Julia Cameron’s method (author of The Artists Way) for unlocking your creativity. She calls it the “morning pages”, whereby first thing in the morning you fill 3 pages with writing. (If you have an A4 size journal, maybe just do one page if 3 pages seems a bit daunting!) If you can’t think of anything to write, just write whatever comes into your head. It may be something like “I can’t think of anything to write and this is just dumb.. I have things I need to be doing…..”. It doesn’t matter what you write… the important thing is that you write. Eventually it will become easy. Like anything, practice makes perfect.
I love beauty and am very tactile, so a journal that feels and looks good is important to me. (although this can be a problem: some journals have been so beautiful I haven’t wanted to defile them with my messy handwriting!)
A great pen is also a must. Personally, I don’t like a fine tip for writing as they can be scratchy. I like a pen that has a broad nib and flows. My partner bought me a fountain pen for Christmas and I just love it. I feel compelled to write rather than print and I just love the way it flows so gracefully across the page. Its like ballet on paper.
You should be free to say whatever you want in your journal. If you have concerns that someone may snoop, then find a good hiding place or lock it up. Personally, I think it is a huge violation of trust and invasion of privacy if someone reads it without your permission. I live alone most of the time, but I know my partner would never read it without my say so when he is here, so my journal resides on my bedside table where it is easily accessible.
Buy a beautiful journal and pen if possible
Keep it safe but accessible
Commit initially to writing 3 pages each day for 3 weeks to get into the habit of recording your thoughts.
write daily or at least when emotional, something interesting has happened, you are seeking clarity, or you have had an epiphany.
(Your journal can end up being like a trusted best friend you can say anything to).