How To Journal + 30 Journaling Questions For Major Self-Reflection
Confession: I have a giant plastic bin in my closet that’s chock-full of my old composition journals that go way back to my pre-teen years. I read through a few of those journals last year as I was giving my closet a major purge (thanks, Marie Kondo!) and let me tell you it was painful to read. In between all the deets on my latest boy crush, there was so much self-doubt and lack of confidence in my words. It literally hurt me to read how insecure I was about myself back then.
I’m a grown ass woman now who’s a lot more self-assured, but one thing that hasn’t changed even decades later is that I still turn to my journal to spill my darkest secrets and biggest desires. It’s the one place I can be my most vulnerable self and write my truth no matter how painful it might be.
Over the years, journaling has become such a sacred and healing process for me. My journal and I are BFFs. Journaling helps me reflect on and process what’s happening in my life. It allows me to document the highs and the lows. Writing forces me to get intimate with myself and get to know myself on a deeper level. It helps me uncover fears and limiting beliefs I didn’t even know I had and helps me clarify my heart’s desires. Journaling is freaking awesome, guys. I can’t praise it enough.
Through journaling, I’ve manifested the most amazing things in my life. My freedom-fueled business. My sparkly new car. My dream relationship. They all started with journaling. I go more in depth on how I manifest with journaling in my Unleash Your Magnificence journaling workbook.
I believe all the answers we seek are already within us and all we have to do is dig them up. Journaling is basically our shovel.
To inspire you to get your journal on too, I’m sharing my favorite ways to journal. Pencil in a romantic date with your notebook (candles and wine optional) and try out one (or all!) of these journaling exercises. Brace yourself for some major self-reflection. And
Write A Love Letter To Yourself
Penning a sweet little love letter addressed to the hottest babe in town (aka you) is a great way to show yourself some major self-love. In it, profess all the things you love about yourself and seal it with a big kiss. Bonus: Tuck it into your wallet and read it whenever you’re feeling blue. It works like a charm at lifting your spirits and reminding you how awesome you truly are.
Answer Journaling Prompts
Sometimes staring at a blank page is intimidating and that’s where journaling prompts come in. They are super helpful for going deep and asking yourself questions that you’ve probably never asked yourself. If you find yourself in a journaling rut, check out my digital journaling workbook Unleash Your Magnificence, which is filled with 80+ journaling prompts for self-discovery.
Write A Letter To The Universe
Whenever I hit a low and don’t know what else to do, I whip out my journal and start writing a letter to God/the universe. I release all of my worries and dreams onto the page. Or I might ask for guidance or a sign. It’s my way of surrendering everything to a higher power and trusting that it’s being taken care of. I feel immensely relieved when I’m done writing the letter.
Stream Of Conscious Writing
Stream of conscious writing is basically writing whatever comes to mind. It’s messy. It’s raw. Grammar and punctuation get thrown out the window because sometimes the thoughts pour out faster than you can catch them. This type of writing helps uncover negative thoughts, fears, limiting beliefs, and desires you probably didn’t even know were there.
Micro Journal On The Go
I’ve found that sometimes it’s really helpful to journal when the feeling/emotion/fear/thought is fresh. However, it’s not always possible to just drop what you’re doing to go journal. Writing down little notes to yourself can be super helpful. I like to use Evernote because it syncs with all my devices but you can use sticky notes or whatever you like. I’ll write things like “stop being so hard on yourself about xyz” or “it made me feel _______ when so and so said this.” Sometimes I revisit the topic in my journal if I need to dig deeper. Usually, just taking two minutes to write down a quick phrase or a couple of sentences is enough to make me feel better.
Do A Negativity Purge
Before you can see the positive in any situation, you first have to get all the negative vibes out of your system. Journaling is an awesome way to do that because it allows you to feel the feelings and process them. It’s only then that you can fully release them and replace them with more positive, loving thoughts.
Brain Dump All Of Your Ideas
When I have a million things on my to-do list and my head is just everywhere, a brain dump is so necessary. I write down everything that I need to do, ideas, thoughts, really just whatever is swirling around in my head. Once it’s all in front of me, it’s easier to organize everything and puts me back in control of things.
Write About Your Day
Even on my busiest day, this is one journaling exercise I never skip. It keeps me sane. If a day was particularly eventful, I might go on and on in my journal. But, most days I just take a few minutes at the end of the day to write a quick bullet point list about the highs and the lows of the day. It’s quick and easy. I love it because it reminds me to feel gratitude for the highs and helps me process and learn from the lows.
Write About What You Want to Manifest
If you put all your heart into it, journaling about what you manifest can be a euphoric experience. It’s like a visualization exercise but in written form. You can either make a list of things you what to manifest in your life or describe one desire with vivid details. Write about how it looks and how it feels as if you already have it. Paint a crystal clear picture with your words and allow yourself to get completely lost in the vision. Really feel it all the way to your core. I recommend doing this one somewhere special like outside immersed in nature or by the ocean—wherever gets your creative juices flowing. My Unleash Your Magnificence journaling workbooks goes deep into the art of journaling for manifesting your desires.
Try Art Journaling
If you’re the creative type who likes to get her hands messy, you’ll love art journaling. I love using a Midori’s Traveler’s Notebook for this along with this affordable watercolor set and water brush. You can express yourself with color, sketches, stickers, photos, paint, stories, poems, collages—whatever! Just let your creativity run wild.
Write A Gratitude List
Gratitude lists are awesome. I really can’t get enough of them. Writing them just feels really good and instantly puts you in a more positive state of mind. To really step up your gratitude game, focus on one thing you’re grateful for and write a list of reasons why your grateful for that one thing. It’s way more powerful and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Try it! I also love using my Five-Minute Journal when I don’t have too much time in the morning but still want to squeeze in a gratitude journaling session.