How And What I Write In My Journal: How To Maintain A Journal
I started maintaining a journal only a month back. Although I had heard about the numerous benefits of journaling , I always felt that my brain could keep a record of everything. Besides, I never knew how to write a journal. I explored some journaling pages on Instagram and after seeing all those beautiful journals, I gave up!
I came across these kinds of journals and I knew at the very moment that I can’t maintain such a journal. Then I had a word with some other influencers to know their process on ‘how to maintain a journal’?
After talking with my other influencer friends, I came to know that journaling is like an art, you don’t have to copy others’. In fact, you need to be as truthful with your journal as possible.
Let me break it down for you how I maintain my journal and how you can start your journaling journey as well that brings maximum results for you.
How I Write My Journal And What Do I Write:
As I said earlier, journaling is an art but at the same time, you have to learn how to be an artist. In the simplest words, Journaling means collecting your ideas that are wandering in your head. When you journal, you become conscious of your thoughts, what exactly were you thinking, why were you thinking so, and how these thoughts are hurting you.
There are some movies and books where a beautiful girl is writing in her journal about everything, like what happened in her day and how she fell in love with a random guy.
When you and I, normal people, see such an elegant way of maintaining a journal, it gives a signal to our mind that it’s too much work to do. And that’s why you don’t need to be influenced by anyone to start your journaling journey.
Journaling is the easiest yet the most beautiful way of knowing and understanding yourself. The more you do it freely, the lighter you feel.
My Journal Process:
When I started keeping a journal, I thought that I was doing well in life but it’s after the journal that I realized what all things are going wrong in my life and how the multiple thoughts are the reason of my distraction towards important tasks. That’s when I started writing down what I feel and think in this way,
1. Don’t Follow Any Rules:
There are some books and people that recommend writing a journal either in the morning or at night. But, as I said earlier, journaling is the way to set yourself free so there shouldn’t be any rules and pressure.
I prefer to write whenever I start feeling overwhelmed during the day or when I feel too happy. For example: I recently got my first high-ticket client. He paid me almost $100 for writing one blog post. I wrote the article for him and he was extremely happy with my work. This was one of the happiest moments for me. I wrote this instantly in my journal so that I can actually write exactly what happened and how I felt. I didn’t want to wait for the night to come to write my emotions.
2. Address God/Universe:
If you are someone who doesn’t have a best friend or you don’t like to share your secrets with people then share it with the God/Universe.
I start my journal with, ‘Dear Krishna Ji’
To me God is Lord Krishna, for you it could be Krishna, Jesus or Allah. Whoever you believe in, write his name as if you are directly talking with your God.
If you are an atheist, you can write, Dear Universe or Dear Diary.
As I said, there are no rules.
3. Don’t Think and Shut Your Mind:
Some people say that close your eyes, take a deep breath and think what you are feeling then write it down. But I think when you give time to your brain for thinking, it creates even more confusion.
Journaling is a way of setting a date with yourself where the brain plays the role of an ex. The more you think what you are thinking, the more confused you feel.
Hence, while writing a journal, never think too much.
4. Don’t judge yourself while writing:
There are too many good talks these days that everyone has started thinking that they are God. Let me tell you one thing, no one is perfect. Everyone feels jealous, greedy, hateful, etc. To be honest, you can never condemn these feelings because it’s a part of human nature and you can’t fight against your nature.
So, am I telling you to keep these toxic feelings inside you? Well, NO!
But, don’t fight with them because the more you think that I am a righteous person, I can’t feel jealous or greedy, the more importance you give to these feelings. The more importance you give, the more they grow.
For example: I have read several self-help and nonfiction books. In all those books, I have learnt that don’t feel jealous, or don’t compare, etc. But that’s rubbish. It’s not in my hands how I feel or what kind of thoughts come into my mind. However, I have the power to choose what to do with those thoughts.
When you are writing a journal, don’t follow any rule. In fact, when you acknowledge your negative or dark side, that’s when you accept yourself fully.
For example: Instagram has restricted my growth from the past 5 months. I am posting regularly on Instagram still I have 21.9k followers from the past 5 months. When I saw that I am not growing but my other friends are growing, I did feel jealous. But, I wrote this down quickly in my journal. Result? I got to know that I need to improve my content. I can ask my friends to collaborate with me. You see how this feeling of jealousy automatically turned into inspiration.
Similarly, you need to write down exactly what you are feeling without judging your feeling and categorizing it into good and bad. The very purpose of journaling is to set yourself free from the rules of society. Let your darker side come out otherwise it will create a void inside you.
5. Write As You Talk:
Growing up, I only had one wish and that is to have one best friend. Apparently, when I couldn’t find any human best friend, I made Lord Krishna my best friend. You can also make your God, your best friend.
Now, when you start writing a journal, you should write as if you are talking.
For example: I start my journal something like this,
Dear Krishna ji,
I went to my convocation today. I can’t tell you how great it felt. I started college as a dumb and shy girl whereas today, I felt confident and bold.
This is one line from my journal which I wrote when I went to my convocation. I wrote down everything like my initial days of college, how my personality changed and what I felt on the last day of college. I wrote about my anxiety about career plans and so on.
Similarly, when you start writing a journal, don’t try to sound perfect and smart. Write down your raw thoughts and feelings, write down in Hindi, English, Sanskrit, Urdu, or any other language you are comfortable in. Your journal is not going to participate in a writing competition. Make mistakes, make it real, make it for you.
6. End Note:
Lord Krishna once said, “This too shall pass” which means be it good time or bad time, both will pass. On tough days when I feel low, everything is going wrong in my life, I first write down what all is happening then I end my journal by writing,
“Krishna ji, I know this too shall pass and I know everything will work”
When you end your journal with a positive note, you feel as if a heavy load is being taken off from your head.
You don’t have to write long positive paragraphs from self-help books as that takes away the real essence from your thoughts.
Just write down that, Universe/God, I know this too shall pass and everything is going to be great.
7. Practice Gratitude:
Once I helped my friend in her project. In return, she didn’t even say Thanks to me. How mean, selfish and manner less, right? Well, we all call such people selfish who always take but when it comes to giving, these selfish people even don’t even say “thank you”
But by that logic, you and I are the most selfish creatures in this entire world? How? Well, the Universe has given us so much but we never even felt the need to say ‘thank you.’
It’s extremely important to express gratitude so that you feel that you already have everything that you needed. Let’s change the old quote from,
“We value things and people once we lose them”
“We value things and people while we already have them”
I end my journal by writing down 3 things that I am grateful for.
If you look at my journaling format, you will see that I poured down everything that I had in my mind but then I ended my journal with a positive note. First, by acknowledging that this too shall pass and then with 3 things I am grateful for.
So, let’s say that I started my journal with the thought of scarcity. Why don’t I have xyz? But then I ended my journal with what I already have.
This was my process of maintaining a journal. I have tried my best to make it as real and raw as I could. This is exactly how I write. You can start journaling either with the similar process or you can take whatever you felt was necessary and add it in your own journaling process. As I said, there are no rules.