Lots of people are touting the benefits of journaling these days. But what exactly is journaling? And how can it help you? In this article I am going to give you 10 powerful ways you can use your journal to grow yourself - spiritually and intellectually as well as to create the life you want.
Journaling is simply writing in a notebook. And if you have a notebook that you dedicate to your regular writings, you can call this your journal. It doesn’t have to be anything special, just something that feels comfortable to write in and is easy to transport. My journals are usually a one subject notebook from Walmart and I absolutely love using a nice gel pen because it just makes writing more fun.
I’ve been journaling since I was a teenager, but I didn't call it journaling back then. And I didn’t do it consistently. I turned to writing whenever I felt strong negative emotions. Writing gave me an outlet for my emotions and helped me to get clear on my thoughts about what I was going through. Afterwards, reading what I wrote gave me the opportunity to look at my life in a less personal, more objective way. In 2017, when I took the divine intelligence process, I started journaling on a daily basis, and since that time I have journaled almost every single day. I experience so many benefits from it, and when I don’t do it, I definitely notice a difference. So without further ado let me give you some ways to use your journal to create the most ideal version of yourself and your life.
1. Gratitude list. This is one of the first things that I recommend to some of my coaching clients who are new to doing spiritual work. Take out your journal and simply write 10 things you are grateful for in your life. If you really want to get the juices flowing, fill up the page. Or write until you don’t feel like writing anymore. When you focus your attention on what you are grateful for, you grow the feeling of love, gratitude, and appreciation within your being, which feels amazing. Not only that, by focusing your mind on things you are grateful for, you automatically attract more things to be grateful for into your life through the Law of Attraction.
2. Stream of consciousness writing. I learned of this style of writing from the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. If you are looking for a spiritual process to get the creative juices flowing, I highly recommend purchasing this book and doing this process. Basically, for whatever period of time you set aside for journaling or for however many pages you decide to commit to, you just write whatever comes into your mind. Julia refers to it as a “brain drain” in her book and that is essentially what it does. When you do this stream of consciousness writing first thing in the morning, it releases the energetic blockages of stored up thoughts from the day before that are in your brain. So for example if you wake up in the morning thinking about the argument you had with your brother yesterday, during your writing, you allow those ideas and thoughts to flow out onto the paper, allowing your brain the opportunity to process these thoughts before you even start your day. After the brain drain, you can start your day fresh and new, having already processed the backlog of thoughts left over from the day before.
3. Write in detail about what you are currently wanting to manifest. Say your Current goal is to lose 20 pounds.. Using this tool, you would write in present tense what your life looks like once you are at your ideal weight. I love the increased energy and vitality that I feel on a daily basis. My body feels amazing and I love the way my clothes look on me. This morning I felt so good to see the scale say 178. I feel so accomplished, amazing, and vital now that I have reached my goals. Not only does thinking from the mindset of your goal achieved feel really good, but it attracts to you the thoughts, feelings, and experiences to help you achieve your goal.
4. Third person writing. This is especially helpful if you are going through a difficult time or feeling stuck in any way. Write about what you are experiencing in great detail from the third person point of view. So instead of saying I feel confused, I would say Melissa feels confused. Write in as much emotional detail as you can, and write until you feel like you’ve got it all out. Then go back and read what you wrote. This writing will often create a shift in your emotions and will allow you to view your situation from a different perspective.
5. Write a letter to a person. This exercise is great if you have beef with someone you just can’t seem to get on the same page with OR if you want to connect with someone who has passed away. In the first case, write the letter explaining exactly how this person’s words or actions made you feel and whatever else you really want them to know. Be brutally honest. This exercise often brings great clarity to the situation. In both scenarios, to your mind and heart, this letter is often like having an actual conversation with the person and allows the energy to shift, reducing blockages, and leaving you feeling clearer and more connected.
6. Brainstorming. Write a question at the top of the page and write every idea that comes to mind as a response to the question. When you pose the question to your mind, it cannot help but to generate answers. If you are stuck in an area of your life, use this technique to get the juices flowing. Decide that you are going to write down any and every idea that comes to mind. Once your page is full, you can go through and cross off all the ideas that are definitely not doable and then you can look at what’s left as a viable option. Remember, it’s great to think outside of the box, and it’s also great to act outside of the box. This technique allows you to come up with many outside of the box answers to life’s problems.
7. Who do I want to be today? As you’re writing this in your journal, you want to write it in present tense form. Who am I today? Today, I am in tune with my highest self. Today, the words come easily at the right time. Today, I am strong and independent. This is an opportunity for you to express your affirmations in writing. Write how you want to show up. As you affirm, you are creating yourself as you say.
8. Appreciation list. This is a bit different than a gratitude list. This is where you write things that you appreciate in your life experience. This is amazing for uplifting your mood. Start a fresh page and write down all the things you appreciate showing up in your life. Write specifically what you appreciate about them, why and how you appreciate them, and how they make you feel. For example: I really appreciate hot, delicious, robust coffee. I love walking into a coffee shop and being engulfed by the rich scent of it’s goodness like a nice warm hug. I love to enjoy a perfectly brewed cup of strong, tasty coffee first thing in the morning. There is nothing quite like coffee! Engage whatever senses you can in writing your list of appreciation.
9. Make a list of things you like about yourself! This is challenging for some people at first, but as you get the ball rolling, not only will you get to know yourself better, you will get to love yourself more! Challenge yourself to write an entire page about what you like about yourself. Here’s some ideas to get you started. Think about the things that make you happy, think about the things that you enjoy doing. This idea will lead you to your natural gifts and talents. For example: I love cooking. I appreciate that I am a great cook. I like that I enjoy making and eating healthy food. I love that I cook nutritious meals for my family. I love my friends. I like that I am a good friend. I like that I am often generous. I like my eyes. I like that I am an outside of the box thinker. I like that I have the ability to see both sides of the coin. Get creative and appreciate yourself!
10. Write a letter to a higher power. This could be God, Universe, Your Higher Self, Your future self, or anything you consider a spiritual, more intelligent or all-knowing entity. I find this to be a powerful and connecting exercise. Write a letter expressing whatever thoughts you wish to share with that higher power. Express your gratitude, your concerns, your desires. I think you’ll find that more often than not your letters will be answered in the upcoming days ahead.
I hope this list has inspired you to either start journaling, or try different ways of journaling. I know there are many more powerful ways of writing and I would love to know how you use your journal to create your ideal life! Please reach out to me and let me know.
Have an amazing day.