I bought my very first journal when I was 13 years old, which means I have been journaling for more than 12 years now. My journaling journey started off with writing about my day in my diary (the dear diary version). As the years went by, I evolved through different forms of journaling. In today’s post, I want to share different journaling techniques that changed my life.
Everyone journals in a different way and everyone has a different experience with journaling. In this post, I am sharing my techniques and my experiences. I encourage you to share your own in the comments section below.
Different Journaling Techniques –
When I talk to people about journaling, I get asked one question over and over again – What do you journal about? And honestly, there isn’t one isolated answer to this question. I have tried various journaling techniques, kept some and left the others.
Also, I do not journal every single day. I journal when I find a need for it and when I feel inspired to. Let me share different types of journaling that I use and how each of them have changed my life.
1.Life Philosophy Journaling – Intention and Focus
Laying down your life’s philosophy is very important for being focused in anything you do. When you know your life’s philosophy, you become intentional. In this type of journaling, you can pen down your answers to the following questions –
- What are your values in life?
- What are your beliefs (religious, societal, parental)
- 5 Quotes to live by
- What is your life’s purpose?
- Things that bring you happiness
This is basically a part of self-discovery. Understanding yourself is important to understand how you think and behave. Answering these questions will help you be more intentional and focused.
My experience – When I carried out self discovery / life philosophy journaling, I became more aware of my true-self. I started acting in a way that resonated with who I truly am. These answers helped me take decisions with ease and certainty. For example, the decision to leave my job was much easier since I knew my values were freedom and independence.
Resources – I have created a self-discovery journal which has 50 journaling prompts related to your past, present, future, philosophy and imagination. There are 10 thought-provoking exercises that will help you find yourself. You can check it out here – Self Discovery Journal
2.Dream Journaling – Exploration
I am the type of person who has way too many dreams when they sleep. For many years, I would dream at night. remember my dreams right when I woke up and forget about those dreams when I would go about living my day.
And one fine day, I came across the concept of dream journaling. It essentially means writing down or logging your dreams right after you wake up. Keeping a log of my dreams has helped me analyze them to a much greater extent.
My experience – Dream journaling changed my life by helping me explore my subconscious mind. I am able to track if I have the same dream over and over again. I am able to find links between different dreams and understand what is in my subconscious mind.
Resource – I have designed a sleep and dream journal which helps you track your sleep, log your dreams and decode them after. You can check it out here – Sleep and Dream Journal
3.Stream of consciousness – Clarity
If you were to start with just one of these techniques, I would 100%, without any doubt, recommend you the stream of consciousness journaling. I have talked way too many times about this method here on my blog.
Stream of consciousness journaling is a technique where you go on writing whatever that comes to your mind without letting logic, grammar or neatness stand in the way. This method helps you get your thoughts on paper. It cleans your mind, helps you identify your toxic thought patterns and gives you clarity.
My experience – So I use this journaling technique when my mind is too cluttered and when I am overthinking any situation or issue. I will pen down everything I think about, without judgement. It helps me look at what is holding me back and what I really want.
Resource – Read this blog post 3 techniques to master your mindset where I have talked more about this technique.
4.Scripting / Future Journaling – Positivity
If you believe in the law of attraction, you must have come across the concept of scripting. Scripting is a technique of imagining and writing down how you want your future to pan out. It can be the next day, the next month or a specific event that you are looking forward to.
This technique works even if you do not believe in the law of attraction. It will help you get excited for the future, bring in more positivity in your life and keep you on track with your goals.
My experience – I love scripting when I am manifesting something big. I usually do not script about how I want to see my day pan out. I will usually write about achieving a certain goal or hitting a certain milestone. It always makes me happy, excited and positive.
Resource – I have a set of manifestation tools that help you manifest your dreams faster. You can check out all those tools here – Manifestation Tools.
5.Daily Log – Witnessing Transformation
This is the ‘Dear Diary’ technique of journaling. In this technique you just maintain a log of your day in your diary / journal. You can write pages upon pages or just one small paragraph. What matters is that you have a snippet of the day written down in your journal.
These daily logs help you capture your good and bad moments and helps you put things in perspective after a period of time. Our memory is very untrustworthy. We do not remember things that happened. We remember things the way we want to at any given time. These logs are like a time capsule that help you look at life in a bigger picture.
My experience – This method of journaling changed my life in the long run. I maintained a diary from 2006 to 2011. Later in 2015, I visited all my old diaries and was awed with the transformation. I was so proud of where I had come, of what I had dealt with and of what I had achieved.
In summary, these journaling techniques changed my life and it can do the same for you. An update on my journaling journey –
I am getting into scrapbooking / art journaling. I did this as a 14 year old to play around with my creativity. Trying to get back at it after 12 years because I want to get more creative.
I am learning to doodle. Trying to incorporate doodles in my current journaling sessions because I love to doodle. I am not very good at it, but it brings me joy.