What is Journaling?


This is a section from 'The Ultimate Guide to Journaling', which is available now. With over 100 suggestions and prompts, plus everything you need to know about journaling, it's the perfect Christmas gift - if not for someone else, then for yourself!**************Each time you make an entry into your journal, you open another door into yourself.- Lucia Capacchione, M.A., The Well-Being JournalIn practice, journaling is whatever you want it to be. Underneath, it’s the gateway to recording life, experiencing all manner of emotions and uncovering parts of yourself you never thought existed.‘But,’ you might think, ‘I already know everything I need to know about myself.

I promise you, there’s more.

Journaling can be fun. Writing about all the positive stuff leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy, and you can look back on the good times in years to come with a glowing nostalgia. But life isn’t all nice, and journaling can also be nails-down-a-blackboard painful when it comes to the hard business.When life gets uncomfortable, starts challenging our beliefs and assumptions, and leaves us feeling overwhelmed, it can feel more comfortable to retreat into: ‘Dear Diary, had macaroni for lunch’-style journaling. That’s not to say that the type of journaling you’ll find here won’t be deep and positive - it most certainly is. It’s about getting past the what happened, however, and getting to the experience, the meanings and the effects underneath.If you’re looking for some proper pen-on-paper action, if you want to know more, be more and live a richer, more fulfilling life, keep reading. It’s not all puppies and roses: when we journal, it can be uplifting, and we can also feel like we’re being scrubbed across the washboard of unpleasant history and wrung through the mangle of overwhelming emotion.Exploring uncomfortable emotions, incidents and facts can be challenging in all kinds of ways. So why do we do it?

Promise no. 2: If you commit to facing discomfort, you have the opportunity to reap big rewards. 

Leaving the familiar and entering unfamiliar territory is a natural part of growth, but the unfamiliar can provoke discomfort, even fear. In order to get to deepen our self-awareness, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable.Most of the suggestions in this book focus on written journaling (artists, there’s a separate section for you too), but you don’t have to stick to that format. Doodles, drawings, paintings and other forms of art are just as helpful as the written word. The types of journaling you need might fluctuate from week to week. So go for whatever works for you when you sit down.If it changes, stay curious; there are no rules about what you should or should not be writing or creating. There is no right or wrong way to journal. Many people have their own ideas about the right times to journal and writing methods to use, and I respect people’s different preferences, so this book isn’t prescriptive. Trust that your mind knows what it’s doing - because it does know what it’s doing.Further reading: 20 Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery & How to Start a Daily Journaling Practice

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