Tips to Start Journaling
By Randi Morse
Most psychologists and counselors will tell you that journaling can be extremely helpful when it comes to your mental health. Journaling allows you to get your thoughts out, on paper, and often simply the act of doing so is enough to take a huge weight off of your mind. But how do you start journaling? Here are a few tips and prompts that will help you to begin your journaling journey.
One way to start your journal is to have a different prompt every day. There are a number of websites that you can find that will give you journaling prompt ideas. Some of the more popular prompts include things like:
Describe how your day went
- What was one thing that happened when you were a child that had a huge impact on you?
- What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
- What's one thing you want to accomplish this week?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Prompts are simply writing aids and are designed to help you write things that are more in-depth. They are supposed to be thought provoking. For example, if you were to write about where you'd like to travel, you may then find yourself writing about why you want to go to that location, or what you need to do to make your dream a reality. Don't be afraid to go off on a tangent, there are no rules when it comes to journaling.
If you get into a habit of writing every day, even if it's just a few lines, you'll experience uncomfortable writing. Uncomfortable writing is the phrase I use for those times when it's very difficult to pull any words out of your brain. It's those times when you want to write but you can't think of anything profound to say. The easiest way to get through uncomfortable writing is to simply experience it. Let yourself write whatever you feel. Saying something like, "I honestly don't know what to write today. I feel fine, it was an okay day," is perfectly permissible! Again, there are no rules when it comes to journaling. Today you may have nothing to write about, but tomorrow you might fill three pages.
Don't let the idea of having to write turn you off from journaling. Writing your thoughts down is not only a fantastic way to help stay grounded and work through your emotions, it's also a record that you can leave behind for future generations.
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