Journaling is a powerful self-help tool. There are many types of journaling you can do (gratitude, food, thoughts etc). All of the journaling has one thing in common and that is writing.
So how can you journal if you hate writing?
1. Use Prompts
At first, I found it hard to pour my emotions into a paper. Using a simple prompt helped to get started. A simple question or a word of the day can help break the blank page syndrome and inspire you to start writing on the empty page in front of you. It's important that you don't feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. The journal and act of journaling have to relate to your needs at that moment in time. Your needs and thoughts may vary from day to day.
You could consider purchasing a journal designed for the specific use you need, like a gratitude journal. There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness, and other journals available. Many of these journals will include prompts and recording methods that don't require lots of writing.
Writing with a pen /pencil on a piece of paper is the best way to journal but you could use electronic methods also.
2. Use your Phone and Speak to it
While writing using a pen and paper is probably the most effective method of journaling you can also use apps on your phone. It may be easier to start your journaling journey by speaking on the phone and imagining you are talking to a friend or just yourself. Apps can transcribe them for you to see as text.
If you decide to keep your journal electronically, you can review it and add later thoughts and feelings. Or you can print them out and out and keep them in a binder.
3. Create a Routine
Even though journaling does not have to be done every day for a set period of time, it is great to get into the habit of writing every morning or every evening consistently. Many people like to journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best. However, it may be that once a week is enough for you.
You can be flexible and decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. On other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.
The most important thing to remember is that the journal is a personal document designed to help you to write whatever you want. There is no right or wrong way to create or use it.
4. Create a Collage
A collage of words and images can convey your feeling and emotions when you do not want to write them. If you have access to magazines, you can cut out words, phrases, paragraphs, or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point. Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel. Again, you can annotate it to make it truly personal. You can revisit and review at a later time and add additional journaling.
You can find colorful images and words written in fonts you like that can be printed online. You print and can add these to your journal to describe how you feel
5. Draw in Your Journal
Pictures and diagrams can express emotions and feelings. You can use them that expresses your emotions and situation. After you draw a picture, you can label and annotate it. If you leave a blank space so that you can review it at a later date and jot down any additional thoughts, emotions, and responses. Quite often this simple method will actually get you writing quickly.
If you are journaling about a problem, then using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree might help. Diagrams are powerful visual tools and help you to see patterns and connections more easily. Adding color can not only makes them more attractive but can highlight the important aspects/connections.
Why not try using different types of pens or pencils to make your journaling more interesting and exciting?
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