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How to Begin a Journaling Practice

Updated: Jan 26

Do you want to feel more connected with your inner being, improve your life, emotional and mental well-being, boost your creativity, and increase your focus and motivation? Then journaling may be just the thing for you. This blog will show you how to begin a journaling practice and why you'll benefit from doing so.

Regular journaling can help you process difficult emotions and work through challenging situations. Journaling is useful to develop a greater sense of self-awareness. Plus, journaling is an effective way to document your life and experiences.

Journaling will boost your mood, creativity, and focus. But understand that there is no 'right' way to do it – the vital factor is doing it regularly. So, don't be afraid to experiment. Eventually, you'll find a journaling method that works for you. And if you ever feel you're not making progress, keep writing—putting your thoughts down on paper is therapeutic.

Why you should journal regularly

Journaling can be incredibly beneficial to your mental and emotional health. It allows you space to process your thoughts and feelings, work through problems, and better understand yourself. In addition, when you journal regularly, it's an opportunity for personal growth, creativity, and stress relief.

  • Helps to clarify thoughts and feelings

  • Aids in problem-solving

  • Increases self-awareness

  • Boosts mood and well-being

  • Facilitates personal growth

  • Enhances creativity

  • Strengthens writing skills

  • Reduces stress

  • Promotes physical health

  • Deepens spiritual understanding and connection

Journaling has other benefits, such as reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety, and lifting your spirits. Getting all the stress out and onto paper provides a different perspective, which enables you to have more flexible thought processes. It's like a blast of fresh air through your mind.

There are many valid reasons to make journaling a regular part of your life. It can help you to sort out your thoughts and feelings, boost your mood, reduce stress, and even improve your physical health. Journaling can also be an excellent tool if you're looking for a way to deepen your spiritual understanding. Regardless of your reason for journaling, it will be beneficial for you. So why not try it?

How to Begin a Journaling Practice

Knowing how to start a journaling practice, or why you should bother in the first place, can be challenging. But journaling has many benefits for your mental and emotional health and overall well-being.

Decide what you want to use your journal for

Are you looking to track your thoughts and feelings daily? Or do you want to use your journal as a creative outlet and write stories or poems? Knowing the purpose of your journal will help you decide how often to write and what kinds of things to include in your entries.

Set aside time each day (or week) for journaling

Try to find a time that works that you will stick to. For example, some folks like to journal first thing in the morning, while others prefer evening journaling before bed. Do what feels best to you that meets your needs.

Get yourself a nice journal

This may seem like a frivolous step but having a journal that you love can make all the difference in terms of sticking to your practice. Be sure to check out some journals at your local bookstore or online. Pick one that speaks to you, so you'll be excited to write in it. Here's a journal available in an array of gorgeous colours at a great price: Great Journal!

Don't worry about grammar or spelling

This is your journal, so there are no rules! When you write in your journal, just write as you speak - even if that includes swearing! Don't worry about making mistakes. The point is to get your thoughts and feelings down on paper, not to produce a work of art.

Be honest with yourself

The whole point of journaling is to be truthful about your thoughts and feelings. So don't hold back. Write about whatever is on your mind, even if it's something you're ashamed of or embarrassed about. Remember, your journal is for you and no one else, so you can be as candid as you want.

Be patient with yourself

If you're having trouble getting started, or if you find yourself skipping days (or weeks) of journaling, don't be too hard on yourself. Instead, begin again where you left off and be consistent as much as possible. The important thing is that you keep moving forward and don't give up on your practice altogether. All new habits take time to become automatic, before you know it, you'll be reaching for your journal without even thinking about it.

Seek help if you need it

It's vitally important that if journaling feels overwhelming, or if you're struggling with mental health issues, seek professional help. Talk to a therapist about your concerns.

Set aside blocks of time for journaling

When you journal - whether first thing in the morning, during your lunch break or before bed - carving out time each day to write will help you make journaling a habit. It's no secret that journaling can be an incredibly effective way to gain clarity of thought. But to reap the benefits of this simple practice, it's essential to set aside dedicated time each day to write in your journal.

If you find it hard to get the time (or motivation) to journal daily, try these tips to help you get started:

Set a regular time each day for journaling

Whether it's first thing each morning, during the afternoon or evening, pick a time that you can stick to on a daily basis.

Want a bit of extra help to develop a daily writing habit? Try this self-hypnosis audio to Write Regularly

Keep your journaling sessions brief

If you're starting, aim for 5-10 minutes per day. When the habit is developed, you can gradually increase the length of your sessions over time.

Use prompts to get started

If you're having trouble thinking of things to write about, try using prompts to get your creative juices flowing. There are tons of great journal prompts online – or maybe you can take a peek at one of my journals - here's The Switchwords Journal

Get comfortable

Make sure you're in a relaxed setting before you write. This could mean finding a quiet spot in your home, lightening the mood with some candles or soft music, or anything else that helps you feel relaxed and inspired.

Write without self-judgment

One of the best things about journaling is that your journal (if you keep it away from others) is a safe space for judgment-free expression. So, let it all out without worrying about whether it's right to say what you want.

Following these tips should help you get into the habit of journaling daily. Once you begin reaping the benefits of this simple practice, you'll be glad you made the time for it. But as you determine the best time for you, you must be honest about when and how you will stick to journaling regularly. The process and journey will make a difference, not just a one-off thing.

Make a list of ideas, prompts, and questions.

Making a list of ideas prompts, and questions for your journaling practice can be incredibly helpful in keeping you motivated and inspired to write. Not only will it give you something to refer to when you're feeling stuck, but it can also help you focus on specific areas of your life that you want to explore further.

Here are a few ideas for making your journaling list:

Choose a theme or topic that you want to focus on

This could be something specific like your dreams or goals, who you are, your relationship with others, your personal growth, or even your connection to your guardian angel with The Angel Journal - please click on the link below:

Brainstorm a list of questions related to your chosen theme

For example, if you're focusing on your dreams or goals, you might ask yourself “Is this my goal or am I influenced by others – and why?” or “How have my goals changed over time?”

Make a list of prompts that can help you explore your theme further

These could be things like "Write about the dreams you had as a child," or "What would life look like when your goal is achieved?”

Use favorite quotes to inspire your writing. You can find quotes to use as prompts anywhere – from your favorite novels to poems to Instagram captions. So, if you're ever feeling stuck, scroll through your feed and see if anything catches your eye.

There's no incorrect way to go about this – open up your journal and start writing using the first quote that catches your eye. Then, don't give it tons of thought. Instead, randomly pick the quote for the day. You might reflect on why the quote is meaningful or how it makes you feel. You can also use it as a prompt for a story or scene that you create in your own words.

Use printed or digital journals

If you're feeling stuck, try using a printed or digital journal to get those creative juices and inspiration flowing. Take a peek at my Digital Gratitude Journal available on Etsy - please click on the image below:

Get away from your everyday world

Sometimes, the best way to get inspired is to get a new perspective. If you're feeling blocked, try taking a trip, exploring a new city, or even just going for a walk out in nature. You never know what might spark some creativity. At home it’s easy to fall into the trap of tackling your ‘To-Do’ list, rather than allowing yourself ‘To-Be’ time. Time out can help your mind to settle and clear.

Think about friends and family

One of the best things about journaling is that it allows you space to think about your connection to others. How they influence you, who you are in relation to them, and how you are different with other people.

Make it a habit

The key to successful journaling is to make it a part of your daily routine. Always set time aside each day to sit down and write, even if only 5-10 minutes.

Finally, come up with a few ideas for journaling goals you want to achieve

This could be "Further my personal growth,” or “Work out what goals I really want to pursue.”

Making a list is a wonderful way to start journaling, but don't feel like you have to stick to it rigidly. Most importantly, you're writing from a place of self-exploration and discovery, so go with whatever feels suitable for you at the moment.

Choose the best time of day to journal.

Yes, I know I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. According to many studies, keeping a journal is a highly effective method for improving mental health. Recording your actions, thoughts, and feelings about those actions will help you process them. In addition, through journaling, you'll work through problems and track your progress over time, which is very motivating.

But if you're not used to journaling, it can be hard to make it a regular habit. So, to increase your chances of success with journaling, choose the right time of day to journal.

Consider the following when picking the best journaling time for you:

When do you have the most energy?

Journaling first thing might be a good option if you're a morning person. You can use that fresh energy to get your thoughts down on paper. Journaling before bed might work better if you're more of a night owl. Writing things down will clear your head and relax you to sleep better.

When do you have the most time?

Life is busy, and it can be hard to find time to journal. So, if you can, choose a time when you know you won't be interrupted. For some people, that means getting up a little earlier or staying up a little later. Others find they have more time on their lunch break or commute.

What's your mood like at various times of the day?

Your mood can also impact when the best time to journal is. For example, if you tend to get stressed out or worried in the evening, journaling before bed might not be the best idea. Conversely, if you find that you're more reflective and introspective in the morning, that might be the ideal time to write.

What's your goal for journaling?

What you want to get out of journaling can also guide when you do it. For example, the evening might be the best time if you're using journaling to wind down before bed. But morning might be better if you're hoping to use journaling to jump-start your day or get some creative ideas flowing.

There's no perfect time to journal. The important thing is to find a time that works for you and that you can stick to. Experiment several times to see what feels best for your needs. And if you miss a day here and there, don't worry. But if you miss too many days, it's possible you need to pick a better time. The point is to journal and use it to help you feel your best.

Remember - there's no wrong way to do your journaling. Just let the words flow and see where they take you!


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Want a bit of extra help to develop a daily writing habit? Try this self-hypnosis audio to Write Regularly

How hypnosis can help you write every day:

Write Regularly is an audio hypnosis session that influences your subconscious mind to help you commit to a regular writing or journaling practice. Just relax and listen repeatedly to your session, and you'll find that you:

  • deeply connect with why writing really matters to you

  • make up your mind about the specifics of your personal 'writing time'

  • notice you are getting a clear internal signal when that time arrives

  • no longer feel constrained by outside influences

  • don't wait for 'inspiration', or try to be 'perfect'

  • are just naturally sitting down and writing or journaling in a concentrated way at your chosen time every day.

Download Write Regularly now to help you with your journaling practice.


Did you like this blog? You know, sharing is caring, right?

So please share the love and share this blog with your friends!

To be updated with my latest blogs, books and courses – please click on the link here:


As well as being a blogger, life coach, EFT tapping trainer and hypnotherapist, I’m also an author, and have written a book about Switchwords and the amazing effect they can have on your inner and outer world - please click on the link :  Speak Yourself Happy: Use Switchwords to Create Your Ideal Life (Kindle Edition) – Ruthy Baker

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