This is meant to serve as a piece for both complete beginners, and those who have already done some form of journalling; perhaps it's a part of your daily life and routine, or it has been previously.
Journalling feels like it's become more and more "mainstream" as it were, though not quite as much as, say, yoga or meditation (both of which are also amazing tools, and can be really helpful for INFPs and INFJs).
There's something about putting pen to paper, about getting your thoughts and your feelings out of you, which feels cathartic, healing and nourishing. I use journalling for all of those reasons, to process my day-to-day thoughts and feelings on an ongoing basis, and to help me keep centred and aligned - i.e. connected to myself, and living in alignment / living how I want to live. If there is something amiss, journalling lets me figure out 'what's off' and nudge myself back onto the right course.
You can find lots of information out there on the benefits of journalling, both when it comes to the 'felt experiences', and there is also increasing scientific research and explanation to support its usefulness and the positive impact it can have on our mental health.
As is often the case, the challenge can be as follows...
"Okay, so it looks like journalling is great, say no more, I am sold. I want to give it a try. But... where do I start?"
Or, if you're someone who's done journalling before and your current practice is starting to feel less helpful, or go a bit stale:
"How can I mix things up a bit? How can I journal 'better'?"
An important point to make before I go any further is as follows:
There is no right or wrong way to journal... just start somewhere, anywhere.
Wherever you currently are on your journalling journey, I invite you to explore 1 of 3 ways to journal.
Go with whatever is calling out to you, with what you feel curious about, or which intuitively feels most "right". I've used all 3 methods, and they've all served me well:
1) Prompted journalling
For a time I used 'The 5 Minute Journal', where the idea is you keep this beautifully-bound book by your bedside, and start each day with 3 quick prompts, and end it with a couple of prompts. Other such journals are available, too - e.g. Daily Greatness. Some of these combine journal prompts with day planning. Check out the websites, 'peek inside' (most of them will let you do this, online, so you can get a feel before you order), and read what others have said to help make an informed, intuitive decision. Remember: you can't go wrong, just start somewhere :)
2) Morning Pages (Julia Cameron) / stream-of-consciousness
Instead of using prompts, you simply put pen to paper and let out whatever's on your mind, whatever you're feeling... just let it out. Even if you feel 'stuck' or 'blocked', you can literally write something like "Well, I have no idea what to write about today... nothing is coming up for me, send help, doesn anyone care?" Before you know it, you'll be scribbling away. This is otherwise known as 'Morning Pages', a concept coined by writer + author of 'The Artist's Way' Julia Cameron, and the idea is that you scribble down x3 pages (I went for A5, rather than A4, when I did this); but, really, you can writer as little or as much as you like.
Morning Pages is also supposed to be helpful to those who write (or otherwise create), to help get the creative tap flowing or, as I heard someone beautifully describe on a 'Write With Impact' podcast episode, it allows you to start the day by shaking off the dust before you begin your writing.
👉 Morning Pages (Julia Cameron)
3) Creative Self Journal (Jacob Nordby)
This little guide offers a beautiful explanation around the joys of journalling, before provide 3 prompt questions. It just deserves a mention all on it's own as it's what I currently use for my daily journalling, and is my favourite form of all the ones I've tried + experienced. The 3 magical questions are:
- how do I feel right now?
- what do I need right now?
- what would I love to have?
I see these 3 prompting questions as lovely questions to get a meaningful 'stream of consciousness' exercise going, and really useful into grounding myself and checking in with where I'm at (I've written previously about why feelings + emotions are so important), figuring out what I need, and generally see if I'm feeling 'good' and 'in alignment' at this moment in time.
👉 Creative Self Journal (Jacob Nordby)
As I've mentioned, other journal prompts do exist (e.g. 'what am I grateful for today?'), but Jacob's journal helps me get in touch with my feelings, my inner compass, my intuition... with my self.
And, remember, once more... there's no right or wrong way to journal. If you've not done it, just start somewhere. Go for the one that appeals most.
If you have done it before, it's always there for you to return to. Use a journalling method you liked before, or try something new from the list above.
ps. do you currently journal, or have you done so in the past? What has your 'method' been? What's been most helpful? Hit reply to the email newsletter, or email me at: email@example.com 😊
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