How to Write a Journal: Step 2

Wondering how to write a journal? If so, it's not as difficult as you may think.

Many people don't consider themselves good writers. They think, "what could I possibly have to write about?"

Believe it or not, when you learn how to write a journal and make it a habit in your life, you will become very good at it. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you become.

In the beginning as you start writing, don't panic if you don't know what to write. When you are learning how to write a journal, it's perfectly acceptable to write whatever comes to your mind. Although what you are writing may seem boring and somewhat like a general list of events, keep writing. Gradual change in your writing skills is sure to happen as you continue.

Why Learn How to Write a Journal?

Journal writing has been done for centuries. It helps us tap into our subconscious mind and get to the root of our deepest thoughts and feelings. Not only this, but by learning how to journal, you can also help to expose thoughts that are not helpful or outright untruthful.

It's hard to believe that we are capable of believing the lies we tell ourselves or adopt the negative beliefs and statements of others but it's true. It's these negative thoughts that cause us emotional distress and keep us stuck from moving forward in certain areas of our lives.

Teaching yourself how to write a journal,  is a great way to help encourage our subconscious mind to purge itself. There are different kinds of journaling. One of the most common ways is to journal on paper, however, there are other ways that people journal. Some find it more interesting to journal online using blogs or through sound and video. No matter which way you choose to journal, the experience is bound to help you get more in touch with yourself and your thoughts and feelings.

Once these thoughts are out of your head, you will be more able to take take a better look at what you are thinking and feeling. It is true that many people are not even aware of what they truly think and feel until they learn how to write a journal.

Tips for How to Write a Journal

  • Decide how to write a journal. You can basically use anything from a plain notebook to a fancy journal, or you can start your journal online. Give it some thought before you begin. There are times when I wish I had done my journaling online. I think it would have been very helpful to so many people if I did.
  • Limit your distractions. The less distracted you are, the better you will be able to hear yourself think.
  • Set your writing atmosphere! Get comfortable! This means if you are more comfortable writing from your bed at night, then do that. Perhaps you want to use aromatherapy at the same time, or you prefer to write while you are on your living room really doesn't matter. What matters is that you are comfortable.
  • Use your emotions! Think about your days events. If you had strong emotions about anything, perhaps something made you laugh, cry or feel fearful...write about those things. Don't hold anything back. Even if you feel a lack of emotion, write about that. Sometimes writing about the simple things is a good place to start. When it comes to emotions there are no rules on how to write a journal. Instead use your emotions to guide what you write.
  • Use your senses! Try digging deep by including your senses by recognizing them throughout the day before you journal. Tastes, sounds, touch, hearing and sight are all important. The more you include your senses, the more descriptively you'll be able to write.
  • Remember that journaling is a personal thing. So let the pressure off to be perfect. Just be yourself, as you are. You'd be amazed at how perfect people try to be, even at their own writings. Perfectionism is not allowed in journaling!
  • Write until you cannot write anymore. Sometimes there is so much inside that we need to write about and this is a good thing! Write until you are finished. Then there are other times when you won't know what to say and you only write a little. It's okay either way and it's completely normal.
  • Write about things you notice outside yourself too. Perhaps the actions, emotions or the events of other people. These would be your surroundings...the things that happen around you. Include your thoughts about those situations.
  • Occasionally go back and reread journal entries that you have previously written. When you go back and read, you will notice a lot about yourself and your thoughts and feelings. You may even read things that you didn't notice before. These make for more great things to write about.
  • Many people do not journal everyday and for the most part, you don't have to either. However, when you are going through a challenging situation such as depression, anxiety or perhaps grieving the loss of a loved one or a divorce, it's particularly helpful to journal everyday. What matters most is that you do not see journaling as a chore or a burden but rather a stress relieving tool that you look forward to.

Step 2 Actions:

1. Write in a journal each day (preferably before bedtime). Don't pressure yourself, just write whatever comes to mind. Use the Journal Entry Worksheet if you don't have a journal.

2. Do the Positive Thought Replacement worksheet at least once a day. If your thoughts are running rampant and going through a particularly hard time, it helps to do this worksheet as many times possible throughout the day. As silly as this feels, it is very important that you do not skip this exercise.

3. If you are struggling with obsessive thinking, take the time each day to practice visualization exercises and thought stopping exercises.

4. When you have developed a good routine and understand positive thought replacement to the point where it has become easy for you, then it's time to move onto Step 3.

Do not move forward until you are ready!

Additional Resources

Looking for journal writing ideas? This page will give you plenty of insight!

Use journaling to help you recognize your negative self talk.

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