The Art of Journaling

With all of this technology, we tend to forget the basic need to decompress. Although everyone has a different kind of stress reliever, training your brain to express feelings on paper is one of the best ways to put your mind at ease. Journaling, goal setting, and visualization will help you to be selective as well as bring awareness to the things in your life that are going well. From blank pages, to dots and lines, here’s how you can start positive journaling. 

Beyond the Blank Page

Many people describe their morning ritual as a way to take control of their day. A blank page is both daunting and inviting. It’s an empty space that’s waiting to be filled. The best part of journaling? There are no rules. A journal can be whatever you want it to be – a place for art, of gratitude, of goals and intentions, or a place to track your day to day life and habits. Complete sentences aren’t required creativity is encouraged, but at the end of the day your journal is what you make of it. Want to start filling those pages? Here are some ways you can start your day.

Goal Setting

It’s one thing to vocalize the things you want to achieve in life – it’s another to recognize them. These can be goals you want to achieve that day, that week, that month, or even that year. Our mind is the most clear right when you wake up, so really take this time to become conscious of your dreams.

Morning Pages

Filmmaker and author Julia Cameron developed the idea of “morning pages”. These are three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, in other words, word jargon. This is the first thing you do every single morning to free your mind without the pressures of the day to come. Countless of writers and creatives swear by this habit as a way of clearing your head and making room for creativity.

To-Do Lists

Spending 10 minutes in the morning looking over your to-do list and prioritizing tasks is nothing new – but perhaps it remains popular simply because it is tried and tested. Putting pen to paper can be a magic thing, helping to release your mind of things it doesn’t need to constantly remember. Allowing for more mental space will cultivate an easier day.

Bullet Journaling

The journal method that has taken the creative and productive world by storm is Bullet Journaling. First introduced by Ryder Caroll, “bujoing” is an advanced method of journaling if you will – complete with calendar graphics, layouts, trackers, lists, brain dumps and to-dos.  This form of journaling has been most appealing to those with a creative and design edge, but nonetheless still appeals to the simplest of people. Visuals aside, people find bullet journaling to be a productive yet fun way to track your day to day life beyond the usual diary entries.

Gratitude Journaling

When our minds are preoccupied with chores and worries of the world, it’s easy to forget to goodness that lies right in front of us – all the things we take for granted. That’s not necessarily a failure on our part, but once we become aware of it, we can use it to retrain our brains to focus on the good. Gratitude journaling only requires a few minutes of your morning. This might seem feeble at first, but taking the time to appreciate the blessings in your life when keep that smile on your face.

The best thing about journaling is that you don’t need a lot to get started. Pick your favorite pen, grab a notebook, and give yourself some quality me-time. Play some chill lo-fi hip hop to get you in the mood and brew your favorite morning drink. Now start creating your list. It can be as long or as short as you want. Remember the key is not how you do it, but that you do it.

Quick Tips for Journaling Newbies

Me, Myself, and My Journal

Make the experience as pleasurable as possible. This is a time for you to get in touch with your inner thoughts. Don’t take it for granted by keeping your phone next to you. Pick your favorite spot – whether that be in your home or at the park and just let your thoughts flow.

Search for Inspiration

If you aren’t sure what to write, look up some journaling prompts to get those juices flowing. They can be prompts related to anything you’re interested in – art, self-care, productivity, reflection, or dreams. The hardest part is starting.

Creativity is in the Eye of the Beholder

Although tempted, don’t try to make it as beautiful as possible. This is a place for you to let go, not share on instagram. Focus on your thoughts and if you want to add some doodles, draw some in when you’re done.

It’s Always About You

Don’t get the idea that journals need to be filled with good vibes. Journals just need to be filled with you. As long as you got that down, you’re halfway there. Also, don’t feel the need to pick up your journal every single day. It’s there for you when you need it the most, like a cup of coffee or a best friend.

Journal Ideas

Here are some more ideas for those empty notebooks on your shelves:

Art & Doodles

Nighttime

Travel

Brain Dump

Health & Wellness

Self-Care

Dreams

Scrapbook

Junk Journal

Recipes

TV & Film

How about a skin care journal? Let’s give you something to write about.