Journaling is something that all of us start enthusiastically but never end up sticking with for very long. Psychologists have pointed out the innumerable benefits of keeping a journal, such as improving mood, reducing symptoms of depression, enhancing memory and so on. In a nutshell, journaling is a great way to channel thoughts, understand one’s deeper feelings, get a sense of emotional clarity and preserve experiences. If you feel intimidated by journaling, here are some tips to help you stay on track.
1. Set a specific time for journaling (preferably right before going to bed).
2. Get a journal that is comfortable and convenient to write in.
3. Carry your journal around.
4. Don’ think too much before writing; just start.
Moving on to the actual task of writing, here are some things you can write about to kickstart the journaling process.
1. Quote of the week
Write down a quote that you like along with your perception of it. Describe how it has impacted or is impacting your life.
There’s no better way to capture your life’s achievements and memories than to write about them in the first person to look back on.
3. Time capsule entry
Your future self will thank you for this. A time capsule entry may be a letter to your future self, current roadblocks in your life, things you wish to change or fears.
4. Recalling dreams
Dreams often have a deeper meaning attached to them. Writing them down will allow you to reflect on them later. Even if your dream is just a fun little episode with no apparent meaning, it is always interesting to recall some of your favorite dreams years down the line.
5. Mind map
A mind map is basically a visual way of expressing ideas and concepts. You can use this visual thinking tool to brainstorm ideas and thoughts. Who knows, you might end up writing a best-seller with all your word vomit and thought bubbles.
6. Reading lists
Making a reading list and set a target to read a specific number of books by the end of the month or year. Seasonal reading lists are my personal favorites.
Keeping these ideas in mind, below are some interesting journal prompts to inspire you to start journaling.
What is my greatest strength?
Life/travel bucket list
My biggest accomplishment
My biggest wish
A mistake that helped me grow
Five goals for the month
A place that left a lasting impact on my life
As fall is slowly giving way to winter, my mind wanders…
A day trip to…
One word to describe the past year
My favorite place
Favorite childhood memories