My first suggestion, if you are new to journaling, is to show up and write whatever is on your mind, as often as possible (see the next lesson).
But sometimes it’s not that easy – sometimes we just can’t, for whatever reason, think of a single thing to write. I’ve been there, and you probably will be at some stage too.
There are a few tricks you can use if you are struggling to get started, if you feel the words just aren’t flowing:
- Describe your physical surroundings – e.g. the room, the chair you’re sitting on, what you can smell, how your body feels, and so on
- Write a list of what you are most grateful for at that moment
- Describe the day before
- Describe what you hope for in the day to come
- Sit still and pay attention to your mind. You might find that you are worrying about something, distracted by preparing breakfast for the kids, or the fact that the car needs repairing, or that you didn’t pay a bill that’s overdue – once you notice what is going on in your mind, write it down
- Sometimes we are overwhelmed by all the things we want to say at once, so just writing a list of key words, bullet-points and simple sentences rather than big lengthy paragraphs can be helpful
- Write ‘I don’t want to write about…’ or ‘I don’t want to journal today because…’ and see what comes up (you might be surprised)
- Use sentence starters, such as: I feel… I’m worried about… I’m thinking about…My body feels… I wish… and so on
- Write about how you don’t know what to write about – actually write, ‘I don’t know what to journal about today, because…’ and see what comes up – this always leads me somewhere
Hopefully that gives you a little something to get started!
It might be helpful to write some of these ideas into the back page of your journal to refer to on those difficult days.