Journal to Boost your Happiness: Journal Ideas to Discover Yourself
I love journaling.
Side note: Supposedly journaling may or may not be a word. Whenever I type it out in Microsoft Word it underlines it, and when I look it up on Google it redirects me to the word Journal. SO… technically it may not be a word, but I use it because it makes sense to me! As with most people, I think. Haha.
I have journals starting back when I was in 5th grade. I have always needed to get my thoughts out, or I go crazy! It has always been therapeutic for me.
I also love re-reading my journals and finding a date 10 years ago to the day. What was I doing? What was I talking about? Where was I at in life?
Well, let me tell ya…BOYS! I’d say 80% of my journals are about boys. haha.
I mean did anything else exist back then besides boys!!???… Apparently not.
The other 20% has been beneficial. I can see how far I’ve come and how I got through certain trials in my life.
While you may not like journaling, it’s a habit you might think about starting because it has several benefits!
According to studies and research found here, here and here, the benefits to journaling are…
Benefits of Journaling:
- Physical health
- Reduce Stress
- Easier to see the positive in a traumatic event
- Discover yourself
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings
- Increase emotional well-being
- Increase productivity
- Brighten Your Mood and uplift your spirits
- Ease anxiety
- Decrease depression
- Help with creativity
“…People who wrote about emotionally charged episodes experienced marked improvement in their physical and mental well-being. They were happier, less depressed and less anxious. In the months after the writing sessions, they had lower blood pressure, improved immune function, and fewer visits to the doctor. They also reported better relationships, improved memory, and more success at work.” (quote)
There are so many benefits to journaling! Who knew?
It’s such a simple task yet can produce great results.
According to research, these benefits come when you write about your deepest feelings and emotions. Such as emotional, traumatic, stressful event or an event that has greatly impacted your life.
This could be anything as huge as being in an abusive relationship to having an explosive depressive episode to having a baby to moving to a new city.
These are all events that effect our lives, cause added stressors, and emotional distress.
So, if you wrote about your anxiety and depression or when you’re feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, or lost, you could initiate these benefits in your life.
It might seem very time consuming, but it doesn’t take more than a few minutes a day to see positive results.
Tips for Finding time for Journaling:
- Take 5-10 minutes every day
- Keep your journal by your bed
- keep notes on your phone or computer
- Carry it with you in your purpose for when you have a down minute
- Wake up 5 minutes early
- Do it right before bed by adding it into your nightly routine
- Make it part of your self-care time
- Talk to Siri or Google and have them take notes for you
- If you don’t have time for every day, do it once a week for 20 minutes or once a month, even.
- Decide you want to make it a priority in order to better your life!
Although there are many benefits for journaling, today, I’m going to focus on just one…Discovering Yourself.
How to use Journaling to Discover Yourself
“If you reflect on your life, you can find the meaning you otherwise overlooked.” (Quote)
Journaling can help you become self-aware to who are, where you’re at, where you’ve been, where you’re going, and who you want to be.
It causes you to reflect on those things, and if you have the right journal prompts, you can get the right answers.
“When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy,”…”They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they’re doing and what they learn.” –Gino
As someone recalls from their own personal journaling experience:
“I was struck by the way it echoed my own teenage experience journaling about my father’s cancer. While my father was dying, and then when he was gone, my life was painfully different, and the writing helped me voice my regret about all the time I hadn’t spent with him and the all the things I hadn’t said. I also wrote about the moments I didn’t regret, and how I’d given what I could. Through that writing, I learned to sit with all of my emotions, both the pleasant and unpleasant ones. This, in turn, gave me insight into myself, the most important revelation being, “I am resilient.” I realized that I can live with my full self, even the parts I’m not so thrilled about.”
Buy a journal today and use it to discover who you are. If you really want to know, you can!
https://www.thecut.com/2016/09/journaling-can-help-you-out-of-a-bad-mood.html – Pennebakers
Journal Prompt Ideas to Discover Yourself
What activity lights up my life?
What is a my favorite childhood memory?
What is the worst thing I remember about my childhood?
Describe a time where I felt valued and loved.
Describe a hard time when I had that made me a better person, and in what way?
What do other people value in me?
What am I most proud of in life?
What is something I love doing?
What is my most self-limiting belief?
What are my favorite qualities about myself?
Describe a time where I had a hard struggle that I overcame. How?
What are my beliefs? Write out beliefs.
Write about the people in my life, why they’re in my life and what I love about them.
What is an experience or activity that energizes me.
Do I care what other people think of me? Elaborate.
What are my doubts?
What are some of my talents?
What is the meaning to life?
Would I describe myself as an extrovert or introvert? Why?
Do I believe I have control over my life course/decisions?
What is the greatest lesson I have learned about life?
What is my most valuable possession?
What is my most valuable qualities in myself?
What is something I always wanted to do?
What would I be doing if nothing was limiting me?
What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses?
What has been a lifelong goal of mine?
What do I like to do for fun?
Who is most important to me in my life?
Where do I feel the safest?
What am I passionate about?
What do my friends ask for my help with?
If I could change one thing in my life right now what would it be and why?
What do I think my purpose is in my life? What could it be?
What’s the biggest problem I see in the world?
Who is my biggest role model?
When something bad happens, who do I blame?
What do I hate doing, but I do every day?
What do I admire in others?
What is my why? What drives me?
What are my 5 biggest pet peeves?
Write down a bucket list with 10 items.
What exhaust me or drains my energy?
What 5 words describe my personality?
Am I comfortable with taking risks? Why or why not?
What sets me apart from everyone else?
What do I think I have to lose?
What does my dream day look like?
What was my biggest dream as a child? Biggest talents?
What inspires me?
If I could go back in time, what would I tell myself?
Name at least 3 things I have accomplished in life thus far.
What are 5 things I could do better to take care of myself?
Do I live life honestly? Elaborate.
What have I learned from my mistakes?
Now that you have the right questions to ask, start journaling about them. Here are 7 rules to create a great journaling experience:
- Take time every day to journal
- Set a timer for 10-20 minutes
- Write, using one of the questions as your guide (if you want to), everything and anything that comes to your mind.
- Don’t worry about errors, mistakes, grammar, or your sentence structure.
- Write for the whole time without stopping too long for a pause. (This way, you truly write what’s on your mind and what you’re really thinking, instead of filtering your thoughts. Your journal is/should be a safe place. If it’s easier for you, shred what you wrote after that way you don’t have to feel vulnerable.)
- Once the timer is up, re-read what you wrote and reflect on it.
- Write what you learned. Or write again, this time reflecting.
This can easily become one of those activities that qualifies under your category of “how could doing some simple journaling really change the way I view myself? It’s not worth my time.”
I guess you’ll never know until you try.
I have found answers by simply writing things out. It brings clarity, peace, validation. It causes you to reflect on your life and think about things that have influenced you so you can figure out who you are and where you’d like to go next.
My Favorite Journals:
The classic moleskin journal. This journal is a little more pricey, but is great because it’s small, but feels big. It has a band to keep the journal from opening. It bends really well, so that when you lay it open it stays open, instead of springing back on you. This company has several different types, so you’ll have to find the one you like.
Click Here to Learn More
Or buy a sketch book. Especially if you’re a doodler and are more creative. It’s great to draw sometimes and just be free to write wherever.
Bullet Journals are super popular right now. It’s also great for some free creative space with a little more structure.
Get a true “pocket notebook” to easily carry in your purse and write down thoughts on the go.
These are one of my favorites because it’s not to big, not to small, and it can bend all the way back onto itself, which makes it really easy to write. You can also find some with cute quotes and sayings on them. Click Here to Learn More
Such great ideas in this Charlie!! It is so true that if you look back at what you have written, you can uncover things that you didn’t even know were there about yourself. I’ve often written and then come back to it a few months later, and wondered if I’d actually been the writer lol
Yes, I have had this same experience! So True!