Keeping a journal isn’t simply keeping a diary. Journalling is a chance to be reflective every day or few days, go deeper with your own thoughts, set your intentions and express yourself. Rebecca Marr outlines its many benefits, with suggestions on how to get the maximum benefit from your journalling
Journalling for mindfulness, setting intentions and expressing creativity
Journalling can take on many forms of self-expression, while also serving as part of our daily self-care routine. Writing in your journal allows inner thoughts and emotions to flow with ease, as well as providing a sacred space to send your wishes and goals out to the universe through setting intentions. With the hustle and bustle of daily life taking up most of our mind space, it is recommended that we regularly take time to sit with ourselves whilst quietly contemplating, to enable us to clear the mind in preparation for meditation.
Journalling can be viewed as another form of meditation, a way of de-cluttering thoughts that take up our headspace with a need to be released and made sense of. We may not all be natural artists, or play an instrument, have the confidence to dance and sing and find it easy to express ourselves in these outward ways, but we can all write and there are many ways to discover the hidden depths within us that are hiding, waiting to be discovered.
Where? Setting up your space to write is an important part of the process and should be intended to create a relaxed environment to help you switch off and tune in to your thoughts and feelings. For example, lighting scented candles, using essential oils and crystals along with playing tranquil background music can take you instantly to a place of serenity, although you may perhaps find complete silence is what you need to fully focus.
What to write? Decide on what style of journalling you would like to work with that day. For example, if you are finding yourself overwhelmed in some way, simply write down what you are feeling in that moment, as a therapeutic way of making sense of these emotions. This can be useful for both positive and negative feelings.
For example, if you are bursting with happiness you could write down what you are feeling grateful for, even if it’s the smallest thing like the sun shining that morning or a certain person saying something that made you smile. These words are wonderful to reflect upon as a positive reminder on days when you are not feeling so uplifted.
However, if you are feeling nervous, angry, anxious, lonely, or sad, try describing those feelings by writing exactly what it feels like for you, with the complete honesty and rawness that comes with it. Perhaps write yourself a letter as if you were a friend, offering words of understanding and compassion, as a reminder that you are loved, and your feelings are valid.
Or you could write a letter to the person who has upset you, but not with the intention of sending, only to enable you to fully express how you feel by releasing it onto paper.
Another form of journalling is free flow writing. Start by taking time to completely relax by closing your eyes, taking in deep breaths before fully exhaling and releasing any tension built up in your body so you are able to focus inward and find a connection to your intuition. Once you feel centred and peaceful, open your eyes and start writing absolutely everything and anything that comes into your head, whether it makes sense of not. Discover a sense of rhythm and flow as you begin to unravel all that has been stored in your conscious and subconscious mind. Keep writing for as long as it feels right to do so and enjoy the freeness of releasing all the thoughts and feelings that have laid dormant over time.
You can also use this method as a form of meditation by focusing on something specific. For example anything you need clarity on or something you wish to strengthen your connection with. Once you have taken time to feel into the energy, begin your journalling in the same way but keeping the focus on what you wish to discover through your intuition and higher self.
Once you feel ready to stop, read back over your words, and enjoy discovering the hidden gems of wisdom, clarity, and unexpressed emotions that you may never have known existed within you.
Setting your goals and intentions
Your journal can also be a wonderful space to clearly state your goals and set intentions. Many successful entrepreneurs have used this tool to manifest their businesses ideas. You can use this exercise by writing out your goals on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, returning to update or check them off as you go.
Another way of asking the universe for what you desire is by writing out a specific sentence repeatedly, recommended no fewer than 15 times, which then puts out the energy of what you wish to draw into your life, whilst deeply engraining it into your whole being so that you subconsciously start attracting your intentions on an energetic level.
To form your sentence, you should write it as though you already have, or will be receiving your desired outcome.
- For example, if you wish to become a successful artist, you could write something along the lines of:
I (your name) am living my true purpose as an artist and I am truly grateful for my continuous abundant success.
- Or you have found your dream home but are not yet at the stage of being able to purchase it, or are in the process (which can sometimes be very unpredictable):
I (your name) will live at (the name of the property or a description of where you would like to live) and will enjoy many happy years in my desired home.
If possible, add a form of gratitude to your intention, or what you hope to achieve by reaching this goal.
Try using this form of intention setting on a daily basis and notice how it affects your actions and energy towards achieving your dream. You will most likely find you are more motivated to reach your goals and the mere fact that you start believing you can attain them is what the magic of intention setting is all about!
All forms of writing are an expression of creativity and can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health and well-being. You may find it more natural to write your feelings and emotions in the form of poetry or as lyrics to a song. There could perhaps be a novel brewing inside you and by setting aside just 10-30 minutes a day, you could set your intention to write the next bestseller using your journal.
You may enjoy writing about a hobby and begin your own blog or write magazine articles to create an extra income.
There are many outlets when it comes to writing and journalling, and it is a wonderful way to truly connect with your self and the inner creativity that resides in us all.