Journaling is a powerful tool to help sort out thoughts and feelings in an effort to get to the root of a problem. This allows you to find a solution, or help initiate self-change.
Of course, journaling can often seem like an added chore or has lackluster results. Fortunately, you can remove these hurdles by learning how to journal properly.
Today, we’ll be providing practical tips for identifying how to productively journal. You’ll learn how to clarify thoughts, behaviors to better understand them and catalyze self-change.
Journaling Is What You Make It
A common misconception about journaling is that it’s a chronological account of your life.
You write about your day, what you did and who you talked to. While this can be a great starting point, journaling that will help you change your mindset is a bit different. It’s focused more on your emotions, thoughts and state of mind.
One of the fantastic things about keeping a regular journal is that it can be whatever you want it to be.
It’s for you, not someone else. You aren’t writing Facebook posts or a public blog, you’re keeping a private journal that you never have to show to anyone else.
You can write about your innermost thoughts, insecurities and fears. You can write about things you'd never admit to anyone else, and perhaps even explore thoughts you've never verbalized. Your journal can become a shoulder to cry on and a friend to share in your victories.
Your journal can be a physical notebook with a pen or pencil, or it can be a series of documents on your laptop. You can even use the memo app on your smartphone.
We suggest a physical journal to minimize distractions and provide much needed ‘unplugged’ time.
How Often Should You Journal?
Keeping a daily journal is a great goal, but you don’t have to journal daily to reap the rewards. In actuality, pressuring yourself to keep a daily journal may become an added source of stress, which largely defeats the purpose.
Instead, write whenever you feel the need.
Journaling is an extremely therapeutic tool when you’re feeling low. Putting cyclical thoughts on paper takes them off your mind. The act of writing them down often helps you realize that what’s worrying you might not actually be that big of a deal.
You'll be able to view your worrisome thoughts and determine if there is a way to resolve your issue, or if there's nothing you can do but move on.
Journaling when you’re feeling positive is also highly recommended. It helps reinforce positive thinking. It also trains you to focus on the positivity, and to examine the cause of your good mood. You can also revisit your positive journal entries when you are feeling low to remind yourself that it always gets better.
Journaling to Improve Your Mindset
Now, let’s take it to the next level. How can you use journaling to improve your state of mind?
Rigorously examine negative thoughts.
Do you have a negative emotion or thought train that seems to come up regularly?
Write about it. Write about why you feel that way and what led you to feel that way.
Don’t stop there, though. Now that it’s formally written down, you’ll have a better idea how to find the root of the negativity.
Is it a toxic person or life situation? Are you imagining a situation that’s causing you stress that doesn’t have any basis in reality?
Continue journaling and explore solutions.
Identify recurring themes.
When we keep everything bottled up in our heads, it’s difficult to discover ongoing themes in your thinking.
When you journal, you’ll have a written record of thought patterns. It will bring your awareness to these patterns, further helping you uncover the cause. You likely won't even have to go back and read previous entries to see patterns, the act of writing will bring them to your attention.
You might think, "Wow, I regularly write about this friend in a negative way, maybe I need to have a talk about our issues or cut them out of my life."
Journal after you receive energy healing.
Energy healing has the potential to spur internal growth and bring deep seeded struggles to light.
Making a habit of journaling after you receive energy healing will enhance the benefits of the treatment. This practice gives you intentional time to focus on whatever comes up, experience it and write it down.
Over time, you'll train yourself to be more present and mindful during your energy healing so that you can more accurately journal after the session.
Journaling is a powerful tool to help change your mindset.
You’ll identify destructive thought patterns and empower yourself to find solutions reinforcing positivity.
Don’t pressure yourself to journal. Instead, view it as a time to improve yourself. Remember to focus on thoughts and emotions over a chronological account of your life.