I absolutely love journaling. I incorporated this practise about 2 years ago and it has brought me so many benefits. I remember I was a bit resistant to try it before, specially because as soon as I was opening a new page I didn't know what to write in it. I felt loss and I didn't really think it was gonna help. I had the idea that a journaling was about writing down how the day was. Something like "Dear diary, today I had pasta for lunch". I mean, it kinda is like this but it goes deeper and further than that.
There are so many ways to journal and I believe they all have a lot of benefits. I honestly use a lot of different techniques depending on what I need at that moment. However, I have built a consistent practise of Future-Self Journaling (from Dr. Nicole Perera) every morning and I also journal in the evening with some question prompts. Another technique that I absolutely love and that I use once in a while when I feel overwhelmed and lost in my thoughts is free writing. I learnt this technique from a book called The Artist Way from Julia Cameron and it is extremly powerful.
I'll explain to you the specifis of each technique so you can also incorporate them in your daily life but first, I want to tell you the benefits of them, because they are amazing!
Brings clarity and helps you organise your thoughts
Reduces stress and anxiety
Brings peace and grounding
Helps you cope with your emotions
Creates new neural pathways
Helps you visualise and create new realities
Yes, this is for real. daily journaling is great and with intention it can be an amazing tool to help you become your highest-self.
Get your computer or your journal and write without thinking, Just write everything that goes into your head, without correcting or deleting. It doesn't matter how it looks, it doesn't matter if there are any mistakes. This is just for you and nobody else. The goal is not about the writing itself but about you emptying your brain of overwhelming thoughts and letting go. It's about writing from your intuition rather than rasionalising.
MORNING FUTURE-SELF JOURNALING:
This is an incredible technique that will bring a lot of change and power to your life. It is perfect to create new habits, to break up with old patterns and build the best version of yourself. In its first part, you pay atention to those behaviours that you want to change and the steps that you will take in order to break unwanted habits. This part is normally done once a month. So, you have a full month (or more if you'd like) to focus on your patterns and work on them.
The second part is the one that I write every single morning. It's about writing down affirmations, promises and traits and emotions of your future-self.
Download here the version of the future-self journal that I use.
BED TIME JOURNALING:
Before going to bed I like to take 5 minutes to reflect on my day. I love writing down things that I am grateful for, the promises that I kept (for example: doing yoga, acting instead of reacting, meditating, etc) and how that made me feel, as well as the things that I will work on the next day... I don't really follow a specific structure every day but I just enjoy giving myself some positivity before sleeping and creating more consicousness. It is also great to hold yourself accountable for the new patterns that you are working on in the future-self journal. So, if in that day I was working on trusting and letting go, before going to bed I write if I was able to do that and the challenges that I faced.
So these are my favourite journaling exercises. I just want to tell you that they don't have to take so much time of your day. Just taking 5-10 minutes every single day will make a big difference in your life. Besides, why wouldn't you deserve to have a moment to work on yourself? To do something that makes you feel good? You are worth it. Remeber that you deserve to be ok, you deserve to become your highest-self. The world needs you.