Writing in a diary is something I’ve been doing since childhood and the practice has stayed with me throughout the years. If you’re on a journey of self-discovery you’ll be pleased to know that you can learn exactly how to discover yourself through journaling. I’m about to reveal how this practice has helped me to find my passions and purpose in life.
Journaling is a therapeutic practice that allows you to work through trauma, discover the emotions behind your actions and work to better yourself as you grow through life. It’s something I highly recommend as a spiritual practice, especially for those of us who find difficulty in practicing meditation.
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What is Journaling?
Don’t feel intimidated by the name journaling to think there’s anything special about it that you have to learn. Journaling has no rules, there’s no right or wrong way to journal.
Journaling is simply the practice of writing daily, anything that comes to mind. You could start by journaling in the morning, setting your intentions for the day, writing a few things you’re grateful for and a few affirmations to help you manifest the goals for the day.
You can also journal for a few minutes each night, recapping the day. This way, you’re writing about the actions that occurred and the emotions behind them. This is helpful for identifying patterns, habits, and things to work on.
You do not need any special equipment to journal. I have fancy Law of Attraction journals and I have plain notebooks with pretty covers that I write in every day. The important point here is that you choose something that you like and are comfortable with.
Studies show that if you release your feelings into words on paper, then you can get much relief from the daily stresses of life, and in this way, you can begin to discover your authentic self as you realize your triggers and the things that bring you joy.
How to Discover Yourself through Journal Writing
In your journal, you document happy and sad thoughts which can help us find our true selves. Journaling helps with introspection and can be beneficial in many ways. People often think that when you write in a journal, you only remember the best moments and feelings. But in actuality, by writing about the highs and lows of each day, your journal will be filled with all sorts of feelings and emotions to work with.
For example, if you’re sad about your job or some aspect of it, you can write down your frustrations each day. On the days when something happy happened, you write that too. When you read your journal later on, you will be able to find out what exactly makes you happy and what makes you sad. Thus, you are able to discover your true self unknowingly by writing journals.
You might have thought that your job was perfectly fine, but through the pages of your journal, realize that the commute, or the pay, or the hours, are sucking the life out of you.
Like I said above, there’s something therapeutic about venting on paper.
When you write journals, you release your pains, frustrations, anger, anxiety, depressions, fear, and any other feelings into a piece of paper, and get the feeling as if you’re sharing with your best friend. This feeling of sharing tends to calm you down and lighten you. As you calm down, it becomes easier to see the problems and seek solutions or at least begin to visualize what it is that you really want from life. You begin to determine what about your current circumstances need to change and pathways to that change begin to open up magically for you.
What Should Your First Journal Entries Be?
Once you are in the habit of journaling, it continues to get easier, where you are just writing on autopilot and don’t even have to think about it. The hardest part is getting started and writing that first entry. What should your first few journal entries be? You can write about anything, but the following topics are easy to use on the first few pages of your journal.
Your Top Reasons for Starting a Journal
For the very first page of your journal, write down a list of why you want to start a journaling ritual, especially if this is your very first time using one. It can be as short or as long as you want it. Just make a list of why you chose to start this journal, from the fact that you read an article online about journaling, to feeling like something is missing in your life and you want to explore it by using the journal.
About You and Your Life
Another early journal entry that helps get you started with this practice is just to write about who you are, what you want to do with your life, what your life is like now, really just anything that comes to mind. Write your name, where you were born, where you live now, your age and relationship status, what your job is, what your dream job is, if you are in school or college, what you do in your spare time, or if you have kids or pets. Explore your interests too. This is a great way to just start exploring who you are and where you might want to focus your time when you begin writing more in your journal.
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If you get stuck early on in your journaling journey, try just writing a list of your favorite things. Here are some different lists of favorites that can be fun to do:
Your favorite local hotspots
Your favorite songs or artists
Your favorite movies or TV shows
Your favorite memories from high school
Your favorite way to spend the holidays
You can also use a variety of other lists in your early journal pages, such as places you want to visit, items on your bucket list, books you intend to read this year, some of your top goals, and so many more. Lists can also be combined into favorites, but there are many more lists that are easy to start in the first few pages of your journal.
Lastly, try a brain dump early on. You will be able to get all your thoughts out on paper and can really get to a place where you feel like you’re starting fresh. Just start writing the first thing on your mind, then continue writing until you feel like you have exhausted the main things you have been focusing on lately. It might be your worries, errands you need to run, something stressing you out, things you have been trying to remember or forget, ideas you have, just whatever comes to mind – write it all out.
For self-discovery in particular, try these 30 journal prompts for self-discovery. Write on one each day to begin to learn more about yourself and get deeply connected to your passions and purpose.
Types of Journals to Consider Using
Once you have made the decision to give journaling a try, the next thing you need to decide is which type of journal you want to use. This is less about the physical type of journal and notebook, and more about what you will be journaling about. While you definitely do not have to pick just one area of journaling, it can help when it comes to choosing the right supplies.
The first type of journal is a daily journal, which is the most traditional type of journal. This is the journal you will use mostly on a daily basis, where you write whatever comes to mind. It can be about your day, but it doesn’t have to be. People often use their daily journal to talk about plans or ideas, thoughts, and feelings, what they are happy about, what is making them a little anxious, working through certain thought patterns, and trying to get more clarity. If you aren’t sure what you will end up writing about, a regular daily journal is the one for you. I love this one for this purpose.
You can also start a gratitude journal, which is one you will only use when you are expressing your gratitude. This can be done in any type of journal, including part of your daily journal. You can dedicate one journal just to gratitude, or you can get one specifically for this purpose where it has prompts or a planner style to write what you are grateful for each day.
If you are going on a trip soon, you might want to pick up a travel journal. Again, these might be a blank journal you use for your travels, or you can find a journal themed specifically for traveling. It might have various prompts and pages dedicated to writing about certain aspects of your travels, like where you are going, your basic itinerary, packing lists, and much more.
For something more creative with art instead of as many words and thoughts, you can use an art journal. You want to use a sketchbook or a book specifically designed for art journaling since these have paper that can handle different art mediums like colored pencils, paints, watercolors, chalk, and more. This is a great option with daily prompts for beginners.
Lastly, you can turn your journal into one that is used for scripting. This is when you are writing as if what you want in life has already happened. Scripting is similar to writing affirmations, where you think of what you want, your dreams, or your goals, and write it in the present tense. A lot of scripts start with “I am”. Instead of saying “I want to earn 6 figures this year…” you start with “I am so thankful to be earning 6 figures a year…”.
Whatever type of journaling you choose, I encourage you to start today. Journaling has helped me so much in my life that I am sure it will help you to deeply connect with your true authentic self.
Have fun while manifesting! Take my 21-Day Law of Attraction Manifestation Challenge: #ManifestWithMo and manifest something you desire in three weeks! I’ve lovingly put together this challenge for you using the tools that work for me time and time again. Check it out here!
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