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HOW TO WRITE A JOURNAL
Getting In Touch With How You Feel
WHY KEEP A JOURNAL?Have you ever thought of writing a journal? Why not? Writing about your thoughts, feelings, frustrations, joys, dreams and experiences is a great way to take an in-depth look at yourself through your own eyes. It can be amazing what you can learn from yourself!
Journaling can also help you focus on what you think or feel about what's really going on in your life and in your head. You might even begin to see patterns of how you react to certain situations. This can be very useful in helping you come up with solutions to relieving pressures or resolving problems. Who knew that putting your thoughts and ideas on paper could be so revealing and so liberating!! In fact, you might be surprised at how good you will feel.
Here is an example of writing about a feeling. It demonstrates that the more you write about a feeling, the more you can understand it. The more you understand your feeling, the easier it is to come up with a plan to solve it.
Don't have time you say, nonsense! It's easy, simple, inexpensive and doesn't take much time. So, what's your excuse? Give it a try and see for yourself. Let's get started.
HOW TO START:
1. Buy a notebook or bound blank book to write in. That way the pages won't get lost. There are several journaling software applications that you could also check out, but there is something magical about writing your thoughts down on paper. Besides that, a blank book gives you lots of space to doodle, draw and even paste pictures or little souvenirs collected from your day (a pretty leaf from a walk, a piece of ribbon from a special gift, you get the idea).
2. Use a pen as pencil fades over time. Make sure it's water proof in case you take your journal to the beach!
3. Stick to a routine. Try to write in your journal everyday. You might like to carry your journal with you so you can write down your thoughts when you think of them. You never know when you will get an interesting idea or thought that needs to be written down right now! Make writing in your journal a habit, that way you are more likely to stick to it.
4. Pick a place that you like where you'll feel comfortable writing. This could be in your room, outside in a quiet place, or even in a busy place like a coffee shop, a bookstore, the library, any place that feels right for you.
5. Date your entry. It's a good idea to start each entry with the date and maybe even the time. This is helpful in case you want to go back to previous days to find something.
6. Start writing. Go ahead, just start! Write down whatever comes to mind, some of your thoughts and feelings, what you did that day and how you felt about it, whatever you like.
Write as if you were describing the details to someone who wasn't there. Be descriptive. For example, instead of saying "I felt sad today," you could be more descriptive: "I felt so sad I wanted to cry today in the cafeteria when I asked Susie to sit with me and she said "no!" See the difference? Write out your feelings in detail, you'll feel better.
You might also want to write about what you did about certain situations. From the above example you could add: At recess I went to talk to my history teacher and she gave me some ideas. She suggested I sit with the girls from the camera club as she knew I liked photography too. I think I will do that tomorrow.Don't worry about spelling or grammar. Remember, this is for your eyes only (unless to chose to share it with someone else) so don't worry what others might think.
7. Be creative, use your IMAGINATION. Draw, doodle, write a poem or paste a pix on a page. Go ahead, decorate your journal cover to make it even more fun and unique. If you decide to use notepad or a computer software program, you can also add lots of other pix and content that might be meaningful to you.
8. Reread what you've written. It's helpful to read your entry after writing it or read several entries at a later time when you feel like it. You can gain lots of insight into your feelings by reflecting on what you've written. AMAZING!
IDEAS ABOUT WHAT YOU COULD WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL:
1. You might start by writing how your day went. Then you can go into more detail. What was on your mind, how did you feel, how did you react or what did you do about your feeling. Writing about particular emotions or feelings in detail helps you "see" yourself and can help you try new ideas or try new experiences.
2. You can write down certain GOALS you might have and add to them as you make progress toward various goals. Writing down your goals and plans for each is a great way to check your progress. You may be surprised how much easier it will be to reach your goals when you write them down.
3. You can write about ANYTHING. Don't forget to remember the beautiful things in your day and your life as well. The pretty monarch butterfly you saw today, the incredible smell of mom's yellow roses, the smile on my face when I got an "A" in math, how happy my dog makes me feel. See!
4. YOU CAN MAKE LISTS:
- 10 Things I'm Sad or Happy About
- 10 Things I Want To Do
- Things I'm Thankful ForYou can add to your lists as you go or develop one of them on a certain day.
HERE ARE MORE IDEAS ABOUT THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT:
- Favorite memories, moments of joy
- Your impression about certain books, movies, music
- Goals - These can be short or long term goals
- Things that have an impact on you like: events, poems, things you hear, things you value, what is important to you, your beliefs, your dreams, things you regret, what makes you feel good, people that influence you or who you admire and why, the possibilities are ENDLESS
There are lots of ideas about topics to write about online. But best of all, use your imagination. Each day has endless possibilities and story lines. YOU'LL NEVER BE BORED AGAIN!
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