I firmly believe that we all live sensational lives, and the best way to reveal that to ourselves and potentially others, is to journal. A journal is a conversation that we have with ourselves, so we can build a healthy relationship, that turns into a life-long friendship.
The suggestion of therapeutic journelling is often met with a rolling of the eyes and an audible sigh. I understand this. Writing stuff down can be difficult, but it is useful, and one of the reasons it helps, is to unravel the thoughts going around in our heads. Take a look at this picture of a bundle of thoughts (ribbons and cords). It’s a mess right?
Well. That’s what your thoughts might look like if they weren’t rattling around in your head. For instance, can you tell me what the thin silver thought might be? How about how long it is? Of what it might be useful for? Can you tell me what it might be snagged on? To find out you need to unravel it from the bundle. In the process, you might loosen some other thoughts, like that little red one, or the purple wavey one. These might even prove to be fair more useful than the silver one. But you won’t find out until you start unpicking.
This is why journalling is useful. It helps unravel and unpick the thoughts from one another. Once they are on paper, you can analyse their worth.
So many benefits, but sometimes it’s tough to get started. So here’s over a month’s worth of starters (You don’t have to do them all, pick and choose, which suits you on any given day) :
1. Write yourself a letter — a younger self, an older self, an alternate self
2. Compose a poem or song about an event or thing you remember
3. Write a story about your day
4. Draw something from your day
5. Write your stream of consciousness
6. Soundtrack of the day
7. Five successes of the day
8. Your nature experience of the day
9. Write a letter to someone else
10. Write a list of words you need to hear now
11. Write down your dream day
12. The one piece of advice you’d give your teen self
13. 10 things that made you smile today
14. Describe yourself in 10 words
15. Your first love (person, thing, place, activity)
16. From my day I have learned
17. Unconditional love looks like…
18. I feel energetic when…
19. 15 things that inspire me (paintings, books, places, people, poems, animals, occupations, etc)
21. A list of questions you’d like answered now
22. Five new things I’d like to experience/learn
23. The kindest things I can do for myself
24. Things you love about life
25. Thing you wish other knew about you
26. Three moments in life that you will never forget
27. A list of your favourite things
28. I feel content in my own body when…
29. A list of things I’d like to say ‘no’ too
30. A list of things I’d like to say ‘yes’ too
31. List of things (people, animals, moments, etc) you are thankful for.
32. If I won the lottery…
33. I would like to learn how to…and why
34. My 5 favourite foods are…and why
35. I would like too…
Remember, when journelling you don’t have to worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation or your handwriting. You don't even need to stick to just writing. Why not draw, scribble, paint, doodle, or a combination of all.
This is about dumping your thoughts and feelings onto the page, uncensored. Once you’re done with an entry, you can ‘analyse’ it by looking at the theme, reading it back, or sharing it. This part of the process and freedom is what helps you go a little deeper than you would with standard journal entries or just letting a through run around in circles in your brain.
Aim to journal for between five and fifteen minutes per day.
Remember it takes just 21 days to form a habit, so give it a shot.
Please share your journelling tips in the comments below.