Journaling is a process of self-reflection.

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by Ma. Rachel Yapchiongco as originally posted at the Journaling For The Soul, Philippine Online Chronicles.

Never underestimate the power of blank pages and a pen. They can immortalize thoughts, preserve memories and create lasting impressions. Think of a journal as a window to your soul. You can write whatever you want. You can share your thoughts, ideas, secrets, feelings, worries, fears, dreams, and more.

Journaling is a process of self-reflection. It lets you share a big part of yourself without worrying what others may think or how others would react.

Time flies so fast. Each day passes by like a blur. You can keep those memorable moments by writing them down on paper. In this digital age, it is now possible to create an online journal but writing by hand seems more special and intimate.

Use your journal to share day to day experiences. It feels good to share happy moments and little triumphs in life. But life is not always a bed of roses. We all have our own share of ups and downs. You can write about the good and bad times. Sometimes it helps to write down things that made you cry  or drove you to get mad.

Here are some tips to help you start your own personal journal.

Find an ideal time and place to write. Write on your own time. There are people who prefer to write in the morning when it’s quiet and peaceful. Others like to write before going to bed so they can reflect on things that happened that day. Find the best time that works for you.

Look for a comfortable place where you can write without interruptions. Most people like to write at home but you are free to write somewhere else like a public library, park or coffee shop. It is all up to you.
Keep your journal personal and private and keep it in a safe place. That way, you don’t have to worry about someone else reading your most intimate thoughts and feelings.

Keep your journal simple. Begin by getting a new journal. Dealing with a blank page can be a little overwhelming especially if you’re new to journaling. Keep an open mind.

The good thing about making a journal is the freedom. There are no rules. You don’t have to be concerned about format, grammar, spelling, or how legible your handwriting is.

Sit down and think of what you want to share. Just keep it simple. The purpose of journaling is to reflect about yourself and not to impress others .

Don’t be afraid of making your first entry. There is no need to feel pressured on filling an entire page. You can write a few lines and reserve the rest of the page for another day.

Decide what you want to write on your journal. A good way to start your journal is to reflect about your life. Ask yourself if you are happy and satisfied with your life.

You can write about things that happened on a particular day. Focus on the highlights of your day. Reflect on things that you are grateful for. It can be as short as five things or as many as you can think of.  Prioritize quality and not quantity.

Share simple happy moments that you might forget later on. Writing about a moment preserves it into a lasting memory. Several years from now, you can go through your journal and reminisce about the good old days. You’ll be glad that you took time to write down those precious snippets of happiness.

When you travel or visit a new place, you can share about your experience.

As you get more inspiration in your journaling, you’ll likely find it easier to write more entries from the heart. Journaling for the soul brings out the deeper essence of writing. Make your journal an intimate connection to yourself. Write down goals or plans. Express your innermost thoughts and emotions. Share feelings of love, happiness, sadness, excitement, despair, aspirations, hope, and even thoughts of hopelessness.

You can also draw or put photos on your journal. Some people find it easier to express themselves through drawing or sketching.

There will come a time when you look back at your journal and appreciate how you’ve grown and developed as an individual. Journaling also gives you an opportunity to learn from mistakes and reflect on difficult situations to make you stronger and wiser.

Journaling has been known to help reduce stress, improve mental and physical health, and boost self-esteem. Experts recommend journaling to people who are struggling with grief and loss. Writing can give you a sense of relief during difficult times in your life.

Be consistent in journaling. Try to spend a moment each day to write your journal entry. Encourage consistent journaling until it becomes a welcome habit. Write thoughts and feelings while they are fresh. It is easy to lose the raw feelings and inspiration if you postpone your writing for another day.

Sometimes life can become too hectic and busy. If there comes a time when you miss an entry, do not be too hard on yourself. Just jump right back to journaling.

When you enjoy writing, journaling becomes something to look forward to rather than a task that you need to finish. Learn to embrace the joy of journaling for your soul.

Photo c/o Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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