Journaling has been an incredible healing and development tool in my life and also for those who have mentored me. Therapists, coaches and teachers all recommend journaling as a tool for healing from traumatic events as well as for personal development, goal setting, learning and discovering what is holding you back etc. I fully encourage this practice with friends, family, strangers on planes, and of course with my coaching clients. If you are seeing a therapist, or a life coach or working with a counselor one of the first things they will recommend you do when you are struggling with life is….buy yourself a journal. However, you have to be ready to get deep.
When I was in the midst of my “trauma” and trying to bounce back from a horrible life event (the loss of my husband to mental illness, addiction and our ultimate divorce), what helped me take the first steps towards healing was when I started journaling. There was a point where I did not go anywhere without my journal, seriously, it was like my security blanket. Through this practice I wrote what I call my “42” list….which literally is the 42 things about my now ex-husband that I dislike. In fact what I learned through journaling is that there wasn’t much I liked about him at all. It was also through journaling I discovered the level of emotional abuse I had experienced and how lonely and miserable I was in that marriage despite putting on a completely different front to those around me. Remember, perception is reality, to a point.
Through journaling I discovered how amazing and free it felt to be able to openly express my thoughts without shame and work through them in my own private world and in my own time. I also learned how critical those thoughts are when you start the healing process in therapy. Journaling can take therapy to a whole new level and accelerate the healing process.
Amazing how the thoughts that end up on paper were sitting in your head taking up so much head space. What a tremendous amount of pressure that is on your mind to hold all that information in there and carry it around, in some cases, forever. No wonder people have so much anxiety….seeing as though humans are believed to have over 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts a day…how exhausting!
So this article is for those of you who need inspiration to start journaling, today.
Below are some starter journaling topics to get you thinking and writing….which ultimately leads to so much more (see How to start Journaling – Keystone Habit)
- Who are you, really?
- What person do you put out into the world?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are the achievements you are most proud of?
- What are you most grateful for in life?
- What are the most important things to you in life?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What are your values?
- Do you love yourself?
- … Why or Why not?
- How can you love yourself more today?
- What does it mean to be your highest self?
- Look at your life now. Are you living the life of your dreams?
- If you have one year left to live what would you do first?
- What would you do today if there is no more tomorrow?
- What are the biggest things you’ve learned in life to date?
- What advice would you give to your younger self?
- Who inspires you?
- Is there something you’re still holding on to?
- What do you need to let go of?
- What is taking up too much headspace?
- What are your biggest goals and dreams?
- What would you do if you cannot fail; if there are no limitations in money, resources, time or networks?
- What do you want to achieve 1 year from now?
- What limiting beliefs are you holding on to?
- What bad habits do you want to break?
- Are you living your life to the fullest right now?
- What drives you?
- How can you change someone’s life for the better today?
- Who have been the most influential people in your life?
- Are these people enabling you or holding you back?
- What is your ideal life partner like?
- Are you afraid of of letting others get close to you?
- What is one thing you’re going to do differently after reading this article?