The Power of Journaling – plus 10 prompts to get you started
Journaling is an incredibly powerful tool for self-care and self-knowledge. I haven’t always kept a journal. And often my “journaling” takes other forms than something that begins, “Dear Diary.” But it is an essential part of my self-care, my creative process, even my business. It’s how I begin every year and every new project. Journaling is part of how I connect with myself and my intuition.
Journaling helps me tap into what’s going on right here, right now.
Journaling, for me, is first and foremost a mindfulness tool. It helps me connect with the present moment and be in the now, unapologetically. It helps me to know what’s going on with me in this moment here.
Even at my most frazzled or anxiety-filled, I’m able to connect with my inner state, once I start to put pen to paper. Instead of projecting into the past or future, I am able to see the present clearly. Journaling slows me down so that this can happen. Otherwise, sometimes I can wind up simply racing to the next moment without that check-in.
Journaling clears the cobwebs.
If I’m feeling stuck, unsure of what to say or what to do next, or if I’m unable to focus, journaling clears the cobwebs. Once I start that check-in I mentioned above, the brain fog seems to dissipate. It clears out the mental and emotional cobwebs. It leaves me feeling fresh and awake.
Much like taking some deep breaths, journaling gets the blood flowing and once I’ve begun, the rest seems to flow easily.
Journaling dissolves the overwhelm.
Journaling helps me to focus on one thing at a time. When I’m in that space, I can only do that one thing. It helps me to single-task and bring myself fully into the process.
Once I’m there, things feel solvable. In fact, I can chew over the same problem for days – and when I start to journal about it? The solution presents itself easily. If I’m overwhelmed with too many projects, tasks or thoughts, journaling helps to sort them out.
I actually use to-do lists as a form of journaling. Instead of trying to remember everything in my head, and stressing myself out, journaling gives me a place to put everything that’s on my mind. That way I don’t have to carry those thoughts around with me. They’re right there in my journal.
Journaling helps me to remember – my own wisdom, my most heartfelt beliefs, and what is most important.
Journaling is ultimately a way for me to engage with my highest self and my truest inner voice. It’s a way for me to be in touch with my intuition – and to remember the big picture. I’m able to clear the cobwebs and overwhelm of minutiae and to find myself again. Journaling isn’t about self-indulgence.
It’s an act of self-knowledge and self-care. Tending to the parts of myself that I might otherwise ignore or forget. Journaling is an act of remembrance again and again. No matter how long I’ve forgotten, journaling helps me to remember my inner wisdom.
Journaling is part of how I engage with self-care, beginning with a good check-in.
In order to bring my whole self more fully into my self-care, it helps to know where I stand. If I’m out of sorts, if I’m high energy, if I’m longing to create. Journaling helps to give me that information and insight on myself.
My journal is also a neutral and safe place to put my thoughts: to vent, to question, to dream. No pressure, no expectations. There’s no need to “fix” anything. It doesn’t get wrapped up in a neat bow. It’s just my way of knowing what the weather looks like in my own atmosphere.
Want to get started with journaling? Here are 10 prompts to get you started:
What do I know to be true in this moment?
Start with “I” statements and felt experiences.
What is happening in my body, right now?
Notice the sensations, experiences, memories, or patterns that are arising.
What will tomorrow look like?
In a perfect world, how would it go? Write it all in the affirmative and in the past tense – as though it has already happened.
What do I want more of in my life?
And what am I ready to let go of?
Who and what am I grateful for – and *why*?
What do I most want to say to someone?
Write that person a letter. It could be about them, or it could just be your way of connecting and sharing your heart with them. No need to send it, naturally.
What’s my high and low?
Your best moment and your toughest moment from today, this week, this year. Get in touch with and really feel both of those moments. Honor yourself in both your good and difficult times.
What questions am I facing right now?
Write out any decisions you have to make, anything you’re unsure of, and any questions you’re grappling with at the moment. You don’t need to answer them, just get them all out on paper and acknowledge the uncertainty with tenderness.
What does my intuition say?
About those big questions – or about any area of your life, really. What does that little voice inside say about it?