The power of writing
I’ve been journaling for about three years now and it never ceases to amaze me how powerful it can be to simply write down your thoughts.
Some of the most profound decisions I’ve made in the last three years came directly from writing in my journal.
Before I started journaling I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do in this world—much less what I wanted from the world.
In truth, I was but a wandering fool without a compass or north star to guide me on my journey. Before putting pen to paper and writing down the shit that was going on in my head, my only desires in life were to fulfill the aspirations of an ego that was completely lost.
But that was before I found meditation and journaling. Both of which I accredit for changing and possibly saving my life!
It ain’t always easy
The insights I get through writing aren’t always full of rainbows and unicorns, of course. Sometimes I have to really wrestle with myself on paper and in my head before I can come to terms with the fact that something in my life is broken.
But by getting it out of my mind and questioning my beliefs on paper, I can literally choose the actions and beliefs I want to hold that will serve me best in life!
In psychology, the term cognitive dissonance describes one’s ability to hold two competing ideas objectively in their mind. The ability for us to question our own beliefs and observe them objectively is perhaps the most powerful tool journaling has to offer.
On some days yes, our journaling will sound much more half-empty than it will half-full.
And that’s OKAY because that’s NOT the point of journaling.
We don’t journal to trick ourselves into feeling better.
We journal to find out what the fuck is going on in our heads!
After all, how do we know what we want in life if we never write it down and we never spend any time studying our minds and hearts desires?
How do we know what’s important to us if we never take stock of the great things in our lives and the people who make it worth living?
For most of us, it doesn’t take a lot of convincing to inspire us to journal.
The difficulty however, is in getting started.
Soooo many of us want to journal but don’t because we feel like we don’t know how or we feel like we are wasting our time because we have never received any guidance on how to really unlock the power of journaling.
If this is you, don’t worry because you’re not alone!
That was me before I started my first journal 3 years ago.
What got me over the hump and into the habit of daily journaling was to choose the right journal.
For some, a blank notebook does the trick. For others, that same blank notebook presents an insurmountable challenge because they have no idea how to start writing.
I was definitely in the latter group of individuals and the thought of writing in a blank notebook literally sent shivers up my spine!
Inevitably, after just a few weeks (and in some cases days) I would quit journaling because there was no motivation!
Find the right journal for YOU
It wasn’t until late one night after stumbling down the Amazon Prime rabbit hole that I find a journal that worked for me.
If you search Amazon or the web you will find hundreds of beautifully crafted journals that contain writing prompts. Some journals are large in scope and some are more specific.
For me, the first journal I ever used cover-to-cover was one called The Sunrise Manifesto.
This journal was perfect for me at the time because it gave me a runway to start writing. In reality, all writing prompts do is inspire your thoughts and then… off you go!!!
Some of the prompts included:
“What three things are you grateful for today?”
“What three things would you like to accomplish today?”
“What’s one thing from yesterday that makes you smile when you think about it?”
What was cool about this journal was that once my juices were really flowing, it gave me a whole page to free hand which I found a million times easier to do once I had already answered the writing prompts.
In essence, writing prompts get the proverbial wheels rolling and help you build your own journaling momentum!
Don’t stop looking
As I kept journaling and my life kept evolving, I felt the need to change my journaling practice to keep up with the ebbs and flows of life.
At first I only wrote in the mornings which was great, but after about a year or so I wanted to start writing in the evenings as well. I could see the positive impact journaling was having on my life and wanted to do it more.
Not to mention during this time of my life my anxiety had started to creep its way back in and I had a sneaky suspicion that journaling more could help me sort through my thoughts and fears.
So I got myself a new journal called The Anxiety Journal which focused on how to step out of your comfort zone and live with anxiety. To compliment my new journal I bought an app on my phone called “Stigma” which is a daily electronic journal that I used at night before bed.
For me, this was a perfect set up. After my meditation session in the morning I would write in the Anxiety Journal and take an inventory of my fears and aspirations. Before bed, I would write in the electronic journal on my phone in order to recap the day and listen to my mind. Doing it this way – journaling with prompts and on my phone – allowed me to center myself in the morning and find out about myself in the evening.
Ultimately, you need to find what works for you! Trial and error is the best way to test
what fits into your life and luckily, there are so many places you can start. I encourage you to start writing down your thoughts and get online to see if there is a journal that might work for you. If you only need pen and paper to get started, then start right now! The best time to start journaling was yesterday and the second best time to start is today!
So get going and start writing! Yes it takes practice and time to get into the groove but once you do, I promise the insights will be meaningful.
Thank you as always for reading.
We hope that after reading this blog you are inspired to starting journaling!
If you have other helpful tricks to get people started on the habit of journaling we would love to hear them! Please drop us a line and we look forward to serving you again next week!