7 Easy Ways to Start Journaling
Good morning friends! I hope your June is off to a great start! I posted a poll on my Instagram story last week regarding journaling. A lot of you guys voted that you've been interested in journaling, but either couldn't keep up or just couldn't get the hang of it.
So I thought I would share some journaling tips I felt helped me get more into it:
I know it sounds dumb, but the difference between people who change and those who don't is the simple act of... well, action! In order to make a serious change in our human habits, we have to practice the desired change on a regular basis. I'm not saying this means you have to do it all the time, but you have to at least give it some effort. Schedule time in your day to just sit down and collect your thoughts. Think about the best time of the day for you to sit and reflect. Maybe it's in the morning right when you wake up, or if you're like me - maybe it's right before bed with the bedside lamp on.
It doesn't have to be daily.
I think journaling can be a bit intimidating for some people because we have this silly perception in our mind that journaling means you have to do it every single day. That's just not the case. Start out with a couple times a week. Everyone has different introspective needs, and it's important to recognize that. On average, I suppose I end up journaling at least every other day, but that's simply because I don't even know what I'm thinking half the time until I see it written out.
Journaling doesn't have to mean confessing your deepest darkest secrets either. Sometimes it's as simple as jotting down things you're grateful for. I actually tried keeping a gratitude journal for a while at the beginning of the year. Although I wasn't able to keep up with it daily, I will say that I noticed a difference in how I perceived the world. I suddenly felt lighter, dark moments didn't seem so dark, and I started keeping my energy levels up through the day simply because I felt happier about going through the day.
I consider taking notes journaling. I love reading self-help books! So when I read them, I like to take notes to flip through months after reading the books to remember important points made in the books. Not only does physically writing down highlights help retain more information, but it leaves me feeling like I did a lot of self-reflection.
Music is transformative. I never journal without listening to acoustic music in the background. It just helps set my mood and triggers my brain into self-reflection mode. This allows me to get in the right head space and gather my thoughts properly.
Sometimes I'll catch a particularly striking lyric and jot it down, and kind of use it as a writing prompt to see what else I think of in that train of thought!
The kind of music you listen to is up to, and so is whether or not you even listen to any at all. You know what works best for you. Some people feel like they can't get their thoughts together when music with words are playing, and that's also okay!
I do my best reflection in coffee shops with headphones in, or sitting in bed in the evenings. That might not work for you. Maybe you work better in a library or sitting outside under the shade of a tree. But just know that the environment you surround yourself with can directly impact the kind of thoughts you begin to create and the mood you suddenly find yourself in. Try some different spots, and you'll start to figure out what works best for you.
The journal also matters.
I'm pretty picky when it comes to the journal I choose to write in. I don't like spiraled books because of how the spine feels on my hand when I write. Kind of an odd annoyance, I suppose. I also prefer larger, hardcover books just because they hold up better and improve my handwriting.
My point is to choose a journal that fits your preferences and will get you excited about journaling.
I hope these 7 quick tips kind of helped inspire you to self-reflect. Remember that it takes some practice and isn't something you should feel pressured to do daily or even at all :)