Journaling ideas. If you’ve been around for any amount of time, you know all about my love affair with journaling – I’m talkin’ Baby and Johnny status here.
Not only do I cherish it’s many benefits, but it has become an integral part of my routine!
Now, I know, journaling can be tough. You sit down with your freshly purchased sparkly pens and… now what?
What if you don’t know what to say?
Blank-page syndrome is no joke – especially when you feel stuck, anxious, or sad – and it’s easy to get discouraged or try to force it. Let’s slay that beast with some journal ideas and exercises so you can start reaping the goodness!
P.S. Before you dig in to your journal, check out this post for how to get started – then come back here for all my tips and tricks!
General Journaling Ideas
If you Google “journal ideas” you will upturn thousands of results – so let me save you some time.
Your ultimate goal here is to get yourself talking and used to the exercise of journaling.
It is not to judge yourself on the answers, or do everything perfectly.
One of my favorite was to get movin’ is to use writing prompts. This would be things like:
- What is your all time favorite movie and why? What character do you most identify with and why?
- Think of a time when you felt genuinely happy – what was going on? Who was there?
- Describe your perfect Saturday – in detail!
- If you could tell one of your best friends anything, what would it be? How might they react?
- What do you think about [insert hot topic here]? This prompt is especially cool because you can develop your opinion on a subject you may never have gotten involved with before!
Write down these journaling prompts ahead of time so when you sit down, they’re ready to go!
Pick one out and go to town – it eliminates all the guess work and gets your fingers a flyin’. Plus, you never know what will come out when you dig in on a seemingly simple question.
Another option is to use a journal with prompts built into it! Here are a few of my favorites:
Tiny Buddha Gratitude Journal (with prompts)
Journaling Ideas for When You’re Feeling Anxious
This is one of the most helpful journaling ideas, because it can be helpful in calming you down when things get crazy.
The idea comes courtesy of one of my business influencers – she calls it the Worry Dump. I promise – it’s not a scary as it sounds.
I love to do this first thing in the a.m (after my coffee, of course) because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Tip: This is also a great journaling exercise to do before bed if your mind is on overload. For an extra calming effect, throw some lavender essential oil in a diffuser and go to town writing!
You’ll need a journal, a pen, and a timer (I do not recommend using your phone as a timer in this case, it’s so easy to get distracted by an, “OMGG why did she send me a Facebook message? I better check…”).
Anxiety Journaling Exercise:
- Find a nice, comfortable and quiet area.
- Take a few deep breaths and center yourself – focusing only on the here and now.
- Set your timer for 5 minutes.
- During the next 5 minutes, write everything that you’re worried about down in your journal. Every.Thing.
- Once your timer goes off, review your list. Does anything immediately seem silly? Is there a common theme (money, relationships)? Is there anything you can prevent from happening?
- After you have reviewed your list, vow to put these worries out of your mind for the rest of the day – leave them in your journal. When you catch yourself thinking of them, gently bring yourself back to the present.
A word of caution – do not let this time become stressful because you’re thinking about all your worries!
Instead, approach it with the intention of flushing your mind of anxieties and fears so you can have a happy and productive day or restful sleep.
A journal is a place where we can be honest about the fears that may be tough to say aloud. Now that it’s all out there in the open to yourself, you can move forward confidently.
Journaling Ideas for When You’re Feeling Sad
Let’s chat about the power of visualization for a second. I personally use a visualization board (picture Pinterest, in my bedroom!) every day!
Each day, I pull out my board, put on some relaxing music, and dive in deep. I focus on any doubts or negative feelings I’ve been having about my ideal future and I unpack them.
Then, I visualize achieving everything on my vision board and how I’ll feel once I do. I also imagine how I’ll react to specific things and how my friends and family will respond. I visualize it into action.
We can apply this same process to journaling ideas in order to manifest some light into the darkness.
- Picture a time where you felt truly happy and content – almost blissful.
- Dive deep into the picture and focus on the small details, what smells were in the air? What did you hear? What were you and others wearing?
- Write all of these details down and keep the vision in place.
- Now, focus just on the feelings you felt: contentment, happiness, peace, love…
- Visualize how those feelings would feel in your current day to day life.
- Use that visualization as a prompt: how would my life look if I had more happiness?
- Manafest those feelings into your life as you emerge refreshed and renewed.
Journaling Ideas Takeaways
As you’re going through these journaling exercises, remember that not every single one will work every single day.
If you meditate, it will feel much like it did when you first started – some days will be really easy and some days will be really tough! It’s very important to not force it and to give yourself some grace. Don’t forget – this space is for you and you alone! You call the shots.
P.S. Don’t worry if you misspell words or use handwriting illegible to anyone else! Here is where you can let the perfectionism go (or try to at least).
Okay friends. I hope that you put these journaling ideas into action right away. Happy Journaling!