I’ve had a diary or journal ever since I was a little girl. I’ve always enjoyed locking myself in my room and getting lost inside the pages of my diary of what felt like a magical world. Growing up in the 90’s I loved reading Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss and I tried my best to model my own journal like hers! Needless to say, writing has always been to this day a valuable tool that I’ve used to express myself.
My personal writings evolved from writing secrets when I was a little girl, recounting my day in detail as a teen and young adult from a narrative perspective, and now, writing is one of my favorite therapy modalities because I am able to combine my love for writing with healing.
In today’s video, I want to share with you the power of journaling and how you can use it in your life to practice a way of better understanding WHO YOU ARE and WHY you THINK and FEEL the way that you do.
What is journal therapy?
Journal therapy is just one type of modality offered by a trained therapist to help you analyze and better understand certain issues that you might be dealing with. I took this approach to my journaling as a way of getting to the root of certain feelings that I have been currently experiencing in my life.
I found this modality to be very empowering for me because I was at a point in my life where I had no idea what I wanted to pursue in my career moving forward and I also realized that I didn’t know who this new person that I became was.
I knew that I was no longer the same woman in my 20’s but I didn’t have that clarity that I needed to pursue a new passion.
I began journal therapy with the purpose of re-discovering who I am and what new interests I had that were going to shape the life I live in my 30’s.
How to Start a Journal
First, you want to define what type of journal is going to fit your need. What are you the most passionate about journaling?
Journaling should be one of your favorite things to do and not something that you dread doing. The only reason people journal is because they love it!!!
Here are my favorite types of journaling that I’ve done in the past and some of them I am currently doing at the same time.
- Gratitude journal – Gratitude is powerful. It has the power to transform your life by simply stating, writing, or verbally being grateful for all of your blessings!
- Dream journal – I love analyzing my dreams because I believe they are messages from my subconscious mind relating to what I am going through in my life. I keep track of dreams that physically and emotionally impact me.
- Goals /Vision journal – Are you starting a new career? Here is where you bring all of your ideas related to that goal, vision, or dream. Anything that inspires your new idea, write it down!!! It doesn’t matter how insignificant you might think it is. You will discover how your vision will start to form right before your eyes.
- Growth/Therapy journal – This is my current journal. I have been on a mission of self-actualization and growth since the end of 2018 and here is where I track my life growth, revelations, aha moments, paradigm shifts, etc.
- Creative Journal – You can document your life day by day or by events with photos, collages, or anything that inspires you. Use your creativity!
There are countless of other types of journals such as bullet journaling. It all depends on what you want and what fits your needs!
I like to set the mood when I am going to do reflective writing, which means making sure I have privacy in my favorite location. I love turning on incense and playing Native American flute music to really set the tone. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. I always tell my husband that I am going to do some reflective writing and he respects that so he keeps noise and interruptions at bay.
Don’t judge your thoughts or your writing
Try not to get too hung up on your sentence structure or on judging your writing skills. The point of journal therapy is to release inner emotions onto paper as smoothly and as peacefully as possible. Just let the truth flow out. The reason that this is so powerful is that you are creating an outlet to release feelings and emotions that are hurting you. You don’t want to walk around with the heaviness all of your life. You want to deal with them and move on. Propper grammar is not important here.
Set a time limit
Timing yourself is highly effective when it comes to tapping into emotions with the help of relevant prompts. It allows you to focus on the specific prompt and to not be distracted by other thoughts. This helps tremendously with focus.
I have created a document just for you with my favorite prompts to help you get started! Choose one, a few, or all of them, and begin the journey of self-discovery!
Writing Prompts for self-discovery
(Click to download the PDF file)