Journaling is something that people became very interested in for the past decade or so. I believe that this is due to scientific evidence that keeping a diary improves your mental health. It is recognized as therapy. Or maybe people now write more because of the Law Of Attraction craze from back in the days and all of the manifestation practices. People nowadays do not keep a journal only when they are on a trip. They incorporated it in their everyday life.
Journey Through Journals - Journaling No-No
Me? I’ve been keeping a diary since I can remember (after watching “Twin Peaks”). I sometimes skipped a year, but even during those times, I wrote in different notebooks, not considered a dedicated journal, just because I felt the need to unload what was on my mind.
Since then I have changed my “format” of writing many times.
At first, I was writing only about what had happened during the day and nothing more.
I woke up at 7. Had eggs for breakfast. Went to school. We had an exam. Ok, I am back home now. Probably I should go to sleep for an hour and then do my homework.
I guess nothing much was happening when I was a kid 🙂 .
Then I started to write only about how different situations affected my feelings and emotions, basically, nothing about how my day was.
After some years, I transitioned to bullet journaling or as I like to call them now “the To Do List” journal.
Biggest mistake ever!
It was a mistake because I didn’t know how to do it right. There weren’t any tasks like “Pick up the clothes from the dry cleaning”, but there were only unrealistic, absurd goals like:
- Get up at 5 am. –impossible, I went to bed at 3 am.
- Go to the gym and then do yoga – impossible, I went to bed at 3 am after having beers with friends and I have smoked 2 packs of cigarettes.
- Film something you consider interesting – impossible, I don’t have a camera, nor my phone is that “smart” to take a video as decent as I wished it could take.
- Laugh a lot – the whole day watching dramas while lying in bed
My point is that I was extremely bad at planning and implementing those plans into reality. My organizational skills sucked before as much as they suck now. Those journals kept me in a very bad mood for a very long time. Until the moment I decided it is not working for me, because of the constant disappointment feeling.
Then I started my “Daydream” diary. It is something like manifestation journal or at least I wanted it to be.
What you write about there is:
EVERYTHING AMAZING YOU WANT TO HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE NO MATTER WHETHER IT IS NOW, TOMORROW OR TEN YEARS FROM TODAY!
This kind of journaling is fantastic because it doesn’t pressure you with plans and deadlines but only gives you hope for better days.
And then I ditched that too.
I started a Gratitude journal.
Amazing results! Nothing better to put you in a good mood from the very beginning of your day. I still do that today. But only a Gratitude journal wasn’t enough for me.
So what I did is to start different journals for different things. I had:
- Journal for Ideas
- Bullet journal – for plans for the day
- Goals journal – what steps to take to reach a specific goal
- Manifest Journal – my daydreaming diary
- Journal for keeping track of life events and to create memories + feelings and emotions
- Pocket journal – just in case – journaling about everything.
Of course, that scheme also didn’t last long. Simply because it was ridiculous. I had a pile of journals that are half-empty.
So I found the perfect formula that works great for me.
Journaling Ideas For Happier Life
As I have already mentioned above there are many different types of journaling, depending on what you want to write about. I will tell you what I do to kick-start my day hyper-motivated with a zest for life.
Here is what you can do to put yourself in a better mood.
Change your attitude towards journaling
Don’t think of it as some annoying obligation or something you have to do. Think of it as sharing stories to your “exciting” faithful friend.
First of all, very important, pick up a journal you would love to write in
Choose one you can carry around, which means that people will probably see it from time to time.
It only takes 10 minutes or less!
Don’t make an excuse with “I don’t have time for this!” Because you do! How difficult and time-consuming do you think is to write 5 sentences? It’s not! It takes 5 minutes! Of course, you can write as long as you want – The More, The More (as Winnie The Pooh would say). If you want to keep a diary you have to commit those 5 minutes to writing.
Start writing immediately after opening your eyes in the morning
This is the time when your mind is still between dreaming and waking up. Your conscious daily thoughts, concerns, and worries have not yet wrapped it all over. This is the time when you can influence your mind with positivity. And this is the time that people say you are most connected to the Universe.
Start with a “Thank you!”
Nothing can charge you more than gratitude. When I am giving thanks I address the Universe, God, and Mother Earth. I know that everything is connected, but that’s the way I like to do it. You can do it how you feel like it. Normally I write that I am grateful that me, my friends and family are in good health; that I am about to have a great day full of pleasant surprises; and that the Universe is taking care of me.
Again, you can write whatever you want. Three things are enough. If you want to thank for 50 things, by all means, do it!
Hopes and dreams – Start wishing!
That is the manifestation phase. The sweetest part of the day, really. After all, nobody wishes for bad things to happen to him, I hope. It can be something as simple as:
I really hope to meet my friends tonight, because I’m sure that we gonna have sooooo much fun 🙂
Someday, when I become a decent filmmaker I would be able to travel the world and meet creative and interesting people. That is going to be soon, baby. Don’t worry, it’s coming!
That way you are setting positive expectations. No MUSTs are included. Don’t pressure yourself.
Take a dream, a goal or a simple situation and experience it on the paper, as you want it to happen. Write the story and feel happy.
Finish with a smile
End this part of the writing with “I love you”, “You are awesome”, “Thank you” etc. The point here is to send some self-love and self-appreciation.
More on the benefits of journaling daily.
Jot down everything you want during the day
This could be ideas, thoughts, things to do, drawings, stories, feeling. Whatever you want!
Write before “Good night”
Write down in a few sentences what happened during the day, how it made you feel, and, very important, what would you changed if you had the opportunity to do it.
These are my simple examples of how to improve your day through journaling.