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7 Creative Ways to Practice Journaling for Self-Care

If you only have time to squeeze in one self-care ritual on any given day, journaling is a great one to prioritize. The benefits of journaling are, in a word, amazing. It helps reduce stress, process emotions, spark creativity, cultivate self-love, gain clarity, shift your mindset, and even attract the things you want. Best of all, it's free to practice making it accessible to everyone. All you need is a journal and a pen to write. 

Where most people get stuck, though, is in trying to figure out what to write. To help you overcome writer’s block, below, we've rounded up seven different ways to journal that will take your journaling practice to the next level.

Stream of conscious writing

Stream of conscious journaling style is essentially grabbing your pen and journal and just writing whatever comes up. Don't overthink it. Don't edit your words. Don't check grammar and punctuation. Allow it to be messy and raw. You can write about your day, emotions coming up, ideas you have, dreams you had the night before, or love letters to yourself. There is no right or wrong. Just write and see where it takes you. Some days you'll write gibberish, and other days you may have aha moment after aha moment and breakthroughs left and right. That's the beauty of this style of journaling. 

Affirmations rampage

Mantras and affirmations are a great way to integrate new beliefs into your mind and shift your energy to a more high-vibe state. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write out your favorite mantras and beliefs you want to practice embodying. This journaling ritual will instantly give you the confidence to conquer your day. Examples include:

  • I believe all good things are coming to me. 
  • My life keeps getting better and better. 
  • I am ready to receive all the abundance the universe has for me. 
  • I deeply and completely love and accept myself. 

Gratitude list

Gratitude journaling is the OG way of journaling, but there's a reason why it's a staple: it's powerful. Writing down what you're grateful for keeps your mind focused on the positive and all the good happening in your life, and thus you attract more of those things. The secret sauce to making it extra potent is to get specific on why you're grateful for something and feeling the warm and fuzzy emotion behind it. 

Journal prompts

If you feel stuck on what to write in your journal, writing prompts will save the day. There are tons of journal prompt ideas you can find via Google or Pinterest. There are also journals with built-in prompts, so you don't have to think about it. You can even come up with your own prompts and use them to access your inner guidance system. 

For example, if you feel confused about making a decision, you can write down a prompt at the top of the page like: "What decision will serve my highest good?" Then take a moment to breathe deeply, connect with your intuition, and write what comes up. You'll often be surprised at the answers you unearth by doing this. 

Reflect on your day

We tend to spend so much time planning out our days but not much time processing what happened, both the good and the bad. Taking a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect on your day can be very therapeutic and help stimulate personal growth. You can jot down: 

  • What were my wins for the day?
  • What worked and what didn't? 
  • What will I do differently moving forward?
  • What am I most grateful for today?

Art journal

Journaling doesn't always have to include writing. You can also express what you're feeling in the form of art, drawings, or doodles. Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, it can be an enjoyable and cathartic process. It's not so much about creating a beautiful finished masterpiece (although sometimes you may), it's about the process of expressing and releasing that can be very healing. 

Paint a picture of your future

Journaling is also an excellent tool for tapping into the power of intention by writing out what you want to create and attract into your future reality. Write out a journal entry in the present tense as if you've achieved your goals and already have the things you want. Paint the picture of how that will all look and feel with your words. Make it as vivid as possible. Include lots of sensory details, which are the subconscious mind's language, and give it a direction to move in. It'll be so cool to look back on these journal entries in the future and see how many desires came to fruition. 

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