Journaling Your Way to Self Discovery and Healing


There is little doubt that journaling is a hugely powerful tool, one that allows us to access so much emotional and mental data about ourselves. It can help us to connect our hearts and minds to paper, giving us the interpersonal space to speak our truth, release, reflect and begin to understand and make sense of our thoughts and feelings. It can inspire growth, help us recognise our achievements or give us a place to unpack events to see them in a new light. 

While that sounds amazing and something most of us could use, how do you get started?  Most importantly, how do you keep going? 


What is journaling?

Journaling is writing your thoughts and feelings down as you navigate life. This can be done as little or as often as you like, although the best practice is to give yourself regular and consistent time to journal. Whether that is once a week or daily, the beauty of journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to go about it. That includes what you write and how you choose to approach it. It is a deeply personal space, one that should reflect how you process and be somewhere you want to write. 

Whether you decide to put pen to paper in a traditional journal, grab a plain notebook or make a new folder on your laptop and choose to type it out, it should be something you look forward to making time for so make it accessible to yourself. 


What you write does not have to be novel worthy

Here is the true joy of journalling; it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. Our thoughts and feelings can be messy, so give yourself permission to just let them loose and get them out no matter what they look like. This isn’t something you have to share or publish, in fact it would likely be a more truthful space if you didn’t. This isn’t about putting pressure on yourself to write like the world is going to read it, it’s about letting yourself get real and explore your inner dialogue. Here you get to say it like it is, dream about the future, go over the past and even write goals and aspirations you may not dare to say out loud. You can have fun conversations with yourself too, get in touch with your inner child, explore your life if you scored a hypothetical lottery win and think about the kind of person you want your future self to be. 

The point is, remove the pressure that may be keeping you from journaling and just get started. You’ll find a flow the more you journal and you’ll begin to learn what truly motivates and helps you keep it going. 

You could even go crazy and ditch the grammar if it made you feel wild and free. It's your space after all. 


Get to know you

Once you’ve gotten started, you’ll begin to notice how writing things down can help you separate your thoughts and feelings. Putting things down on paper can be so revealing and is so good for our mental wellbeing. Giving yourself time to journal begins to connect you to your inner voice and allows you to know who you truly are on a deeper level. It can also help you recognise what you are getting right, perhaps what you have to be grateful for and what your mind is really focused in on. You can see patterns of thought, whether you are focused on things that stress you, or if you are ever the optimist choosing to hope and dream through your experiences. 

Whoever you are in that moment will begin to unveil and you can use this as a tool to heal, learn, evolve and gain a new perspective. You can also push yourself into thoughts moving forward and decide what you want to see in your next chapters of life. 

In your journal you can write the chapters that lie ahead and explore the ones already written. 


When you’re stuck, find journal prompts 

A wonderful thing about the internet is that there is no shortage of inspiration when you know where to find it. Taking your journaling to the next level, or just finding enough steam to keep things fresh and exciting can be done with finding some journaling prompts to spark ideas for your entries. Sometimes siting down to journal can lead to not knowing what to write about, especially as you try to create regular time for it. This is where it is easy to fall out of the habit, especially if you have a little writers block or are just getting started.

What exactly are journal prompts? These are questions to ask yourself or statements that encourage you to reflect on ideas or thoughts. They are designed to help you explore deeper or just give you some food for thought that might reveal a thing or two about you. 

Journal prompts can be thought provoking and give you insights to yourself that you may not have even considered otherwise. They can send you on a journey of thought that can lead to greater inspiration or even unlock some areas of healing. These are great for both beginners and seasoned journalers, as they can keep the momentum going and allow you to delve into new areas of thoughts and feelings. 

Here are a few examples of a journal prompt that you can use for your next (or first) journal entry:

  • What are three things that you have achieved over the past year?
  • Relive a memory that sparks joy to you
  • What five things am I most grateful for? 
  • What do I see as my best qualities? 
  • What do I love most about my body and why?
  • What does my ideal life look like? 


There’s more than one way to express yourself

You may not find writing as therapeutic as some and that’s ok too. There are no hard and fast rules on how to journal and self expression can take many forms. Journaling may conjure up feelings of “Dear diary….” With long winded entries and heartfelt emotions pouring out of each page. This may be true for some, but for others journaling may be more of a list of thoughts, or perhaps even photos, pictures or magazine cut outs to express and give visuals. Perhaps its a mind map or just a place to write a few simple key words to invoke your feelings. 

If you are searching for a more simple way to journal, try the Bullet Journal Method. ( ) Just having things in a more simplified fashion may be less noise for your mind and give you exactly what you need in much less time. 

Journaling need not be time consuming to be helpful, in fact the more it is accessible the more likely you are to make it a positive habit. What is important is that it reflects your needs and is something you come to see as an old familiar friend over time.  

See it for the incredible tool that it is, a window into your inner self and a place where you can clear your mind and set the stage for a future you look forward to.


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