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Journaling: What it is and how to do it

Updated: May 23, 2022

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

There are days when I sense myself opting out. Its not every day, but it happens frequently enough for me to recognise the signs now. I can’t focus; I put stuff off, check the fridge a few times and refresh my Facebook feed for the 57th time in a minute.

What’s usually happening is something is stuck in my head that I haven’t really processed enough to let it go. So it just sits in there bothering me all day, niggling me and stopping me from getting on with my day.

It’s then I’ll realise I haven’t “journaled” today.

What is journaling and how do I do it?

Journaling is just emptying your head of unprocessed thoughts and feelings by writing them in a notebook or journal and writing until you make sense of them, find solutions or routes forward.

I like to start by asking myself “What do I need to think about today?” but it can also be “What’s bothering me?” or “What’s on my mind?” – and then grab my pen and the answers start flowing.

Once I’ve answered my first question on paper, then comes the “So, what?” “What are you going to do about it?” And out comes the pen again. I keep writing until I feel like I have emptied my head and sense a weight lifted, or I have some clear actions of what I need to do and when.

I try to journal every day, before I start work if I can, as that helps take away the distractions.

Journal Prompts & Ideas

Things I like to add to my journaling:

  • Gratitude – 3 things I’m grateful for or 3 things I've done well

  • Food – What I’m eating & when

  • Oracle / Angel cards – I choose a card & read its meaning

  • Songs – Any songs stuck in my head

What’s your experience of journaling? Any hints or tips to share?

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