Journaling is a healthy habit that we all should try to get into. But to make it stick, consistency is critical. So, you should attempt to write daily especially if you’re just starting out. Unfortunately, even the most enthusiastic journalers sometimes get writer’s block. What should a new writer do? A great place to start is to use journal prompts to spark some inspiration in your soul.
A Healthy Way To Express Your Darkest Emotions
When you think of the most famous person that ever journaled, who comes to mind? Personally, it’s Anne Frank. Can you imagine the daily stress she must’ve been under? The idea that any given moment you could be taken away. Instead of getting angry or giving up all hope, she used the powerful tool of journaling to get through it. In her own words:
“I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn”
Tool For Self-Discovery
And yet some days we just can’t figure out what to write. Instead of writing a single sentence that says something like “Today is sunny and I’m off to work”, use journal prompts to delve into your own psyche.
To Remove The Blues
Regardless of who you are, there will always be days that you just don’t feel happy. Maybe you wake up grumpy and just frustrated. Or you just aren’t motivated or excited for the day. In those moments, it’s a good idea to focus on journal prompts that can help uplift you a bit. Foster some self-worth. Cultivate a bit of gratitude about what you do have. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Three Things I value about myself are…
For starters, don’t compare yourself to others. You are YOU! Maybe it’s being an expert on something. That you listen to other people’s issues and can help them through it. Or that you have a quick wit. Even if we haven’t met, I can tell you that there are so many great things about YOU! We are all unique and special in our own way.
Five Things I am grateful for today…
Personally, this is one of those journal prompts that’s been hard for me to embrace. I always focus on the things I haven’t finished. Or that the weather wouldn’t let me go outside. It’s just too easy some days to look at what’s not working than what is. As I take a step back and wake up every morning, I really focus my attention to what IS amazing in my life. My cat Gus who makes me laugh every day. My amazing husband that I get to experience life with. The fact that I live in a beautiful place many vacation but I get to live in. That everyday I know I have healthy food to eat and wonderful friends to share it all with. Once you get started on the grateful train, you’d be surprised how five just isn’t a big enough number.
Lists, Lists, And More Lists
Some of these topics can be a bit daunting to take on for your first foray into daily journal writing. Another option is to start with journal prompts that are a bit lighter like creating a list. This can help knock down the writing cobwebs and give you an opportunity to uplift your spirits. It’s a win-win and you may even learn something about yourself. These writing prompts are a bit more self-explanatory:
Places you’ve enjoyed visiting
From the beaches to the tiny towns in Maine, there’s more than one place you leave your heart and need to come back to.
Your favorite movies
This might tell you a bit about yourself. Are you a hopeless romantic or a person of action? Or maybe you’re the modern-day version of Socrates or Aristotle.
Your favorite books
My husband can’t get enough of fiction books. They’re his escape route from the daily grind. I, on the other hand, love books that teach me things and help me grow spiritually as a person.
Let Loose The Emotional Volcano
A lot of us bottle up emotions to the point that we snap, or even worse, our health is negatively affected. On the other side of the spectrum, there are some people that lash out and attack others because we feel emotionally imbalanced due to too much stress. Instead of dishing it out onto someone else, writing it down is a great cathartic way to release those emotions.
What’s going on for me right now is…
Don’t be shy. Let it ALL out. Write down that you want to scream at the rude driver you encountered on the way to work today. Delve into why that made you so angry. Was that REALLY the problem? Were you agitated before that? Perhaps the real reason you’re mad is you forgot your friends birthday and now you feel terrible. Or that you didn’t get picked for a promotion at work.
What I need to accept is…
We can’t control everything. The weather. Someone else’s heart. Something breaking in our home. Traffic. The list could go on and on and on. When we finally write it down and then let it go, only then can we focus on the one thing in life we do control… our attitude.
Start Dreaming Big
As Dolly Parton so eloquently put it “Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living.” It’s true we sometimes get stuck in the daily routine. Focusing on just getting through the grind. But life is supposed to be much more than that. We need dreams. Something to look forward to or a stretch goal that might seem impossible until we manifest it on paper.
Something I would love to do but I’m not sure I can is…
This is a big one for me. I’ve always focused on my career and excelling in it to push, push, push. That’s how I identified myself. And then when I moved from the city life to the mountains, I began to ask myself this question a lot. And the answer? I want to inspire others and create things that are good to the Earth in every way possible. This is how nluv Finish & Design Studio started.
I need more…
And you shouldn’t answer “cowbell” unless you’re a musician and that’s what you really do need. This is a question my husband is always working on and for him the #1 thing is patience. When he felt someone was verbally attacking him, he’d get so upset and absolutely lose his temper. Or that it hadn’t snowed for weeks (and he loves snow), so instead he’d just grumble about everything. Over time, he realized that patience was what he really needed to focus on.
We all want to find that special someone. A kindred spirit to spend the rest of our life with. And the old adage of “you need to love yourself to be loved” has truth to it. Understanding who you are and what you find important is key. Here’s a few of my favorite journal prompts to help you with daily journal writing.
What do you value most in relationships?
Humans aren’t perfect. Even the best husbands (and wives) have faults. Understanding what you value most in a person is critical. Is it a person that’s honest? Or is it someone that you can trust in any situation. Maybe that they have a sense of humor making you smile and laugh in the most stressful times in life.
What are your strengths in relationships?
You don’t need to put all your attention into what you’re looking for. Instead, you can see what are the best things you bring into a relationship as well. It could be kindness. Or maybe it’s empathy or devotion.
There’s nothing more emotionally satisfying than to have a fulfilling career & feel like you’ve made a difference. Something that you’re passionate about since it will be the bulk of your life when you think about it. But to get there, you really do need to put some serious thought into it. It’s not easy. We all can’t be famous artists or rock stars nor do we want to be… we have to find what truly fills us up with positivity.
What part of the workday do you most enjoy?
Don’t say when you’re not at work. Be honest with yourself. Maybe it’s when you’re given the opportunity to present in front of people. Or that you’ve helped someone solve their problem by finding the perfect gift for their loved one. You may not like your job right now, but there’s usually one or two things within it that you do enjoy. And perhaps what you are currently doing is helping support you on your way to your ultimate path in life.
What are your career ambitions?
One of the most common examples of career ambitions is wanting a specific job. Talk to people in the company outside of your department. Take a close look at job opportunities that come up within the company but maybe in another area. Or perhaps you want a specific title. VP of Operations or Director of Marketing. Maybe even CEO of your own business. Begin writing down these thoughts to help you move forward in that direction. You might surprise yourself once you start scribbling what’s in your head. It may not be what you originally thought.
As you can see, there’s a variety of different journal prompts that you can use to help in your daily life. You don’t need to concentrate on one area. My suggestion is that you explore the entire spectrum of journaling prompts, and when you find the ones that really resonate with you, then you’ll have a great journaling path to pioneer forward with. Truly enjoy the discovery process by Journaling… In All Its Shapes, Forms, and Fun.