Did you keep a diary as a kid?
I still remember my favourite diary from my teen years – it was hand-sized, light green and had a gold lock and key. It held all my secrets. And quite a bit of teen angst.
Now I have a journal. Actually I have several, depending where I am, the time of day and what mood strikes me.
There’s the everyday thoughts one – this is the one I use when I sit down at my desk in the morning, or outside if on the weekend, or take with my on holidays, and just write whatever is in my head that needs to come out. It’s random, often repetitive, but a great clarifier – I often feel clear of mind and motivated once I’ve used it.
I also have a gratitude journal – one I pick up randomly after yoga or meditation to be mindful of blessings and positivity and small moments of joy. I write mostly in short sentences, half sentences or dot points. It’s not long form.
Finally, I also have a small hand-sized three-points a day one by my bedside table in which at night I write three things that went well during the day. This kind of practice has been shown to rewire your brain to be more positive, as well as finishing the day on a happy note rather than ruminating on what bothered you during the day.
Journaling is one of those easy but effective tools we can use for many benefits, and it’s the basis of what I call the 10 Minute Mind, one of the five daily devotions of the Balanced in 10 process.
Just 10 minutes a day writing your thoughts can give you clarity, reduce stress and mental load, change your perspective or flip negative thoughts, calm you, motivate you, or remind you of all the good in your world.
There’s a tonne of research on the many benefits of the different forms of journaling, including all those I’ve just mentioned, but also health benefits like improved sleep, better immune function and fewer visits to the doctor. It’s also been shown to improve memory and sports performance.
There are many ways of journaling too, from long-form expressive, to gratitude, bullet-point, visual journaling using images and drawings, and stream of consciousness forms like Julia Cameron’s morning pages process. It can be as creative, or not, as you like.
You can write lists, use prompts or draw pictures – the options are endless.
As a writer, I just write. But some people find getting started with journaling a challenge, which is where journaling prompts come in. Pretty much anything can be used as a prompt, from a quote, an idea, a situation – whatever gets the thoughts on to the page.
There’s a journaling prompts library inside the Balanced in 10 online portal, but I thought I’d share some prompts here for you to try.
10 journaling prompts to feel more balanced
One to feel good about your age and stage:
This season of my life is teaching me …
One to bring into focus the benefits of looking after yourself:
I’m at my best when …
One to remind you of your support network:
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” (Jane Howard) – Write about yours.
One to feel more in control:
What can I do right now?
One for simplicity:
What is enough for me?
One to feel expansive and motivated:
In 10 years, I will be …
One for clarity:
If I was free from stress, what would be different or gone from my life?
One for rewiring your brain to a positive mindset:
What’s going right?
One for surrender:
Today I give myself permission to …
One to finish the day and feel positive:
What went well today?
Ready to develop your journaling practice?
Create a journaling ritual with these packs, thoughtfully curated with handmade journals and reiki candles, crystals, oracle card blessings and journaling prompts.