Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been keeping diaries – as a child I was inspired by the Secret diary of Adrian Mole!
Now I find journaling has become an amazing tool for mindfulness, self development and spirituality.
Some of the benefits of journaling include:
– Clearing your mind
– Relieving stress
– Inspiring creativity
– An opportunity for positive self talk and encouragement
– Recognising personal blocks and triggers
– Getting organised
– Setting and achieving goals
– Keeping a record of thoughts and ideas
Journaling feels like a way of being my own counsellor, life coach and best friend!
If you want to start a journaling practice or super-charge your current practice, here are five methods you can try:
1/ Morning Pages
Writing Morning Pages is my core journaling practice. It’s from book The Artists’ Way by Julia Cameron and the idea is that you write three pages of free stream of consciousness first thing when you wake up. This is part of my morning routine and it helps set me up for the day. Since doing the Morning Pages I’ve had so many more creative ideas, but also it serves as a way to just get anything going round in my head out and on the page.
You can use any notebook to do your morning pages but personally I use this one which has excellent paper quality and quotes from the Artists Way.
2/ Positivity Planning
Rather than the usual never-ending ‘to do’ list, I write a positivity plan every morning after my morning pages.
– What I’m excited about today
– Things I’m grateful for
– Things to do today
– Affirmation for the day
This practice helps me feel clear and focused for the day. I use this journal from Emma Mumford, which also has lots of journaling prompts at the front.
2/ Bedtime Journaling
Before bed I like to write down anything in my mind, so that it’s out of my head and doesn’t get in the way of me sleeping. I like this journal from Kikki K which has set questions:
– What made you happy today?
– Wha did you learn today?
– What are you grateful for today?
– What are you going to do tomorrow?
3/ Moon Cycle Journaling
I track each day of my menstrual cycle in a journal that shows the moon cycle. Personally I use Yasmin Boland’s Moonology diary. Then every day I write down a few words to describe how I’m feeling. For example I might write ‘tired, moody, sad’ or ‘energised, productive, sociable’.
This has been amazing to look back on see the cycles I go through with my moods, energy levels and physical symptoms each month. Until recently I used an app to track my cycle (I still do this as well), but keeping a written version makes it even easier to notice patterns. It’s helped me to identify the times of month I need to rest more and those when I have more energy to get things done.
Even if you don’t menstruate,I still suggest tracking your moods and energy throughout the month – you might be surprised by the patterns you notice!
4/ Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journalling is the practice of writing down a few things you feel thankful for every day. My partner and I do this each evening and share a few things we’re grateful for with each other. It helps rewire your brain to notice the positives in your life. My hint for this to focus on the small pleasures of life. You can read my blog post about this here.
I have loads of gratitude journals, but one of my favourites is The Secret Gratitude Book , because it also includes a section for things you want to call into your life and feel grateful for in the future.
5/ Journaling Prompts
Journal prompts are questions you use to inspire your writing. These are great if you tend to get a blank mind or struggle to find anything to say. They’re also helpful when you’re focusing on a particular topic such as money, love, health or career.
I love using journal prompts to spark my imagination and help me go deeper Two journal of my favourite prompts are ‘What is true for me right now?’ and ‘What is beautiful in my life right now?’
I’ve created some journaling prompts for you, to help you shine your light more brightly in the world. Click here to instantly download your free journal prompts.