I’ve always been a journaler. From my young days when I would write poems in journals covered in horses, journaling has always been a part of my life. Journaling can make us more creative, help us to express our emotions in a healthy way, dream for the future and feel happier with our lives. But as adults, journaling can be awkward to start. No one wants to have a book covered in horses with each entry titled, “Dear Diary.”
If you’re curious to start but don’t know how, here are some exercises:
Be more creative/Get better sleep
Morning pages, devised by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way, are designed to help you release clutter from your brain. Every morning, fill three whole pages with whatever is in your brain. To make it easier, don’t lift your pen from the page. If you don’t have this precious morning time, or have trouble sleeping, try doing this exercise at night instead.
Journaling helps to get your deepest desires and goals down on paper. Because you’re bringing these desires and/or goals into your consciousness, it’s more likely that your life will align with these desires. In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra tells us to write all of our desires on a piece of paper and carry them with us wherever we go. (Kind of like how Jim Carrey wrote that million dollar cheque to himself before he became famous, no?)
Express yo’ self
When you’re angry, it helps to get the anger out by writing a letter that will never be sent. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever done this.) More and more is being discovered about the impact that emotions have on our health. Unexpressed anger and sadness can turn to disease in our bodies, so if you’re typically a non-confrontational person, this is a healthy way to begin to express your emotions.
This is one of the greatest ways to find happiness in your own life. As they say, gratitude turns what we have into enough. Start with three things that you are grateful for each day and see how that list changes over time.
I hope these exercises give you a place to start. As NWA says in their song “Express Yourself:”
Come on and do it
From the heart
Cause if you wanna start to move up the chart
Then expression is a big part of it