It’s been well over a year since my journey in journaling started. The first time I opened my notebook to journal it was very intimidating to see a blank page. With all the journal prompts at my disposal I felt it was hopeless. How could I put into words how I feel? What if I sound silly? What if I do it wrong?
Once I studied Journal Therapy my confidence received a massive boost. There is no right or wrong way of journaling. It’s a completely personal process and is different for every person.
Saying you are going to start a journal is easier said then done. Rather than starting a journal because you heard it’ll fix all your problems, sit down and think about it. Have you been feeling that daily stress has been getting you down? Perhaps you are not very happy in your life. Do you wonder what if? What if I made different choices?
Write about how you feel
This isn’t simply ‘I don’t feel happy’. It can be tough to start but once you have asked yourself how you feel about something then you are already halfway there.
Let me give you an example of this. At work your boss was in a very bad mood and took it out on you. The problem is that you want to keep your job so you can’t say anything.
Get your pen and notebook or journal and write down what happened. Below is an example of what might have happened.
‘My boss arrived in a bad mood and pushed past me knocking all the papers I was holding. My boss then turned and shouted at me for getting in his way and demanded that I better clean up the mess and make coffee right away.’
Now let’s explore how it made you feel.
‘I was so angry and humiliated. It’s as though I am always the target of this and am a punching bag. Why do they always target me? Sometimes I wish I could just quit.’
This was a very basic example. From this you can really start to understand how you feel in certain situations and how you react to them. It’s possible that you notice a pattern. Once you find the pattern you can start to work on it.
Sometimes writing about our problems is very therapeutic as we have an outlet to release them. Journaling is not always about the bad stuff though. It’s good to journal when something great has happened. If you simply write about your day in the beginning you may find that the more often you do the more of the good things you start noticing.
What is an appreciation journal? Well its all the amazing things in your life that you appreciate. That time a friendly stranger let you go in front of them in a queue. Or your family being there for you when you really needed them. Your children. Maybe you appreciate the beautiful weather outside. The birds singing. It can literally be anything that you appreciate.
I challenge you to start your own appreciation journal today. Your first entry could be that you appreciate this challenge. Starting this can be tricky but within a week of doing this daily you’ll be filling a page with everything that you appreciate in your life.