Today I wanted to share a simple way How To Start Journaling And Tips For Beginners to get started.
How To Start Journaling And Tips For Beginners
When it comes to starting something new or adding healthy habits into our routine, it comes down to letting go of everything everyone else tells us is the best way of doing it.
Yeah, yeah, I know! Here you are reading a post about how to start on your journaling journey, but the truth is, this post isn't about telling you what to do but more about sharing with you things that have worked for my clients and me.
It's about giving you ideas where to start, but it's up to you to not only decide to start but to decide what works best for you and your lifestyle.
Take in the tips that I share below, and then contemplate which ones resonate with you and try them out. If it doesn't work, no big deal. Just try something else. The important thing is that if you landed on this post, you desire to start journaling.
So, start! I hope these tips help you along the way.
Journaling Is Not Always What It Seems
When I mention starting a journaling practice, many always think that I'm just writing, but journaling can be done differently. For example, one way my oldest daughter likes to journal is by drawing pictures in her notebook. This is how she expresses herself and allows her thoughts to come through. I also have a client who writes poetry as a form of journaling.
A journaling practice is about getting your thoughts and emotions down on paper, whether with words, poetry, or drawings. It's about what feels good to you and what will encourage you to make it a part of your daily life.
When I first started my journal practice, I wrote down three things I was grateful for. After that, I slowly built myself up into allowing myself to write whatever is on my mind. Sometimes I write about the dreams I had that night, or I write about something that happened in my childhood that is coming up for me.
Whatever it is, it's about bringing awareness into your life and allowing you to express yourself without judgment.
Journaling In The Morning vs. Journaling At Night
There are so many debates out there if you should be journaling first thing in the morning or right before bed. My opinion? It's up to you and what calls to you.
Do you like getting up slowly with a hot cup of tea and getting your thoughts down on paper? Then a morning journaling practice would be perfect for you. But if you usually rush out of bed to start your day, then maybe you should consider getting your journaling done right before bed.
Again, there's no right answer. It's about what works in your life and your lifestyle. When starting on their health and wellness journey, many women believe that they need to change their lifestyles to accommodate their new healthy habits. The truth is that your new healthy habits should fit into your lifestyle. That way, it's a smooth transition. When we change too much of our daily routine at once, we usually end up sabotaging ourselves throughout the process. That's why taking nice, slow, and keeping it simple is always the key.
Keep It Simple
As I mentioned above, keeping it simple is the key. Our brain can only take so many changes at once before it decides that it wants to go back to doing things the easy way. When I say the "easy way," what I mean by that is comfort. It's easy to wake up in the morning in a rush and not take time for yourself. It's easy to watch television for two hours before bed rather than taking those ten minutes to journal out your gratitude.
When you keep things easy, you allow your mind and body to move slowly towards new habits. Plus, that's the goal. To create a new habit that becomes a part of your daily life because that's when you truly will begin to see results.
If you're looking for a journal to start with, check out my Enlightened Aligned Life Journal on Amazon (affiliate link).
They say consistency is key, and that's because it is. The more you do something, the more it becomes a part of who you are. When it comes to journaling, the goal is to create a daily routine where becomes a part of your lifestyle.
Scientists say that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.
Now that doesn't mean that you need to go all-in at first.
Keep Expectations Realistic - Less Is Always More
Start slow. Maybe journaling two or three times a week. Then slowly build yourself up to where you are routinely writing in your journal daily.
You want to start slow because you don't want to sabotage yourself into quitting before you have even started.
Your brain can create several storylines or excuses on why you shouldn't do something. From it's too hard, I don't have the time for this, or what's the point?
So keep your expectations realistic when you start your journaling routine. In the beginning, you might have a harder time getting thoughts on paper, but the more you practice, the more you will have to write down. I promise you.
Always Go Back To Gratitude
As mentioned above, when I started journaling, I wrote about three things I was grateful for at that moment or something that happened the day before. This allowed me to ease my way into writing without any pressure because, let's face it. We all have something to be grateful for.
Gratitude is not only a great way to begin your journaling practice, but I suggest that becomes a part of it as well. Especially on those harder mornings when you can't get your thoughts down. Gratitude will not only raise your vibration, but it will also allow for the thoughts to come without forcing them, and the next thing you know, you will be writing page after page.
Forget About Perfection
Journal time is the perfect time to be imperfect. This is where you want to allow your thoughts to come to you without force, judgment, or even thought. It's the time for you just to be you.
Journaling can be a sacred time to bond with yourself and the universe, source, God, higher self. So it's time for you to let go of the shield protecting you and allow yourself to be vulnerable with you. Because that's what journaling truly is about. It's about spending time with the most important person in your life. YOU.
It's not about using the right words or language or even editing your thoughts. It's about plainly being you and express yourself however you feel in that moment.
Throw perfection out of the room, and if you're worried about someone getting ahold of your journal, make sure to keep it in a safe and private space.
Make Journaling An Experience
If I were, to be honest, this is my favorite part of journaling. I love quietly getting up, making myself a hot cup of tea, tip-toeing into my office, turning on my diffuser with essential oils, and sitting by my window to write while I watch the sun come up and the Earth waking up.
Create an experience for yourself, and I'll bet you will not want to miss a chance to sit with your journal.
If you prefer to journal before bed, you can still create a beautiful experience. Just keep in mind that you want scents and flavors that are going to help you relax.
Use Your Journal As Therapy
This is where the magic of journaling can come in handy for someone who struggles with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any mental/emotional issues.
Personally, I saw the power of journaling when I allowed my journal to become my therapy sessions in a way. It took me several months to actually open up to allow myself to write what I was truly feeling, but when I did, it was liberating.
I felt free to express myself however I wanted, and no two days were the same. I highly encourage you to do the same.
Shadow work is a powerful way to use your journal to heal past traumas and subconscious beliefs. You can easily find shadow work prompts on Pinterest, but my favorite Shadow Work journal is The Shadow Seekers Journal (affiliate link).
Permit Yourself To Change Your Routine
Journaling should be an easy and painless habit to add to your daily life. If something is not working for you, permit yourself to change the routine around. Remember, it's not about perfection. It's about allowing journaling to help you get through your thoughts, heal, get out emotions, frustrations, and stress if need be, as mentioned above.
If you started a morning routine during the summer, but during the school year, it's hard because you have to take the kids to school, then change your journaling time to before bed.
Do what feels good for you and fits into your lifestyle.
Journaling For Stress and Anger Management
Did you know that journaling has been called the most effective form of therapy? I believe that the reason that is because it's you with your thoughts and no one else to judge you. So you are free to... be.
Using your journal as a form of stress or anger management is a great tool to use to see that things aren't always as bad as they seem at first glimpse.
For many years now, I've suffered from anxiety and anger issues. I would do or say things to the people I loved to hurt them because I was hurting. I started using my journal throughout the day when I felt unhinged, becoming angry, or felt my anxiety creep up.
I allowed myself to write whatever I was feeling, no matter what it was. I used the words I wanted to use and got all of my frustration out on paper. Truth be told, I felt so much better after doing so that whatever was bothering me before could now be talked about in a civilized way. Rather than me just coming in like a train at full speed.
In many ways, I feel that journaling helped me open up communication with my daughters and my husband in a more loving way.
Keep A List Of Journaling Prompts Ready
Now, there will be days that you won't feel like writing or won't have any inspiration to write. That's when having a list of journal prompts ready will come in handy. This will allow you to pick a journal prompt and write about a specific topic or thought.
I've created a list of 30 Journal Prompts For Self-Discovery to get you started. Just click on the photo below to download your free journal prompts!
As you can see, starting your journaling journey is not difficult at all. It's all about listening to what you want and how you want to approach journaling.
Journaling can become a great way for you to find intentional moments, help you heal, and be the perfect daily routine to add to your self-care.
The secret is to let it be easy and not put pressure on yourself. Just allow it to flow and enjoy each emotion and word you write, speak, draw, or create.
Tell me, will you be adding journaling to your daily routine?