How to Journal Daily: A Guide to Self Discovery

Here you’ll discover how to journal daily and why journal writing can improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Are you wondering how to journal daily? Do you think journal entries will help you keep track of a to-do list or do you want to know about the benefits of journaling? Maybe you’re looking for journaling prompts.

It’s been widely reported that journaling improves your mental and emotional well-being. It provides a coping mechanism to help with self-care. Some studies even show that a journaling habit helps your body physically heal itself. Those are good reasons to start journaling.

Not all journaling is created equal. Some journaling helps with self-awareness, wellness, and self-improvement. It can be a powerful tool, whether you follow writing prompts or just start writing a list of things as your morning routine.

Journaling practice helps with the little things. No matter what time of day you choose to journal every day, it will help you form good habits to improve your life.

How to Journal Daily — What Is a Good Journal?

How to journal daily a guide to self discovery

Journaling takes many different forms. Your daily journaling might include doodles, your morning routine, overall ideas, or bullet journaling. Some writers start with journal templates to provide journal prompts.

Writers also use journals. Most writers will tell you that they’ve journaled at some point. Many continue the habit throughout their lives. Writers will keep their journals, too. It gives you a good way to look back on your progress or just to revisit old ideas.

When you ask the question, “What is a good journal?” the answer is subjective. It really depends on your own goal. Before you start your journal, sit down and really think about what you hope to achieve. Your goal will help you decide what type of journal to keep.

What Kind of Journal Will Benefit You?

If you’re a writer, your goal might be to improve your craft. It might be to make sense of your day to day life or have a place to record personal things. It might be a place to keep ideas for stories or little bits of writing that you think of and don’t want to forget.

If you’re interested in journaling as a way to improve your mental and emotional health, your journaling will likely be very personal. The best journaling to aid mental health will include deeper ideas and concepts from your life.

These are the things that can be hard to write out and think about. The more intricate you can get in your writing, the better you can process your thoughts. Surface journaling, or writing about shallow things that don’t really impact you, won’t have the same benefit.

Journaling can be soul-baring. This makes it a scary concept for a lot of people. You’re putting these things on a page or recording them somewhere. That means that you’re taking the chance that other people will read it.

Remember, you don’t need to share your journal with anyone. You can keep it hidden away, just for yourself. It’s the act of pondering these things and writing them down that helps you.

Different Types of Journals

There are many different types of journals. You’ll choose the type of journal you want to keep based on the things you want to improve. You may even switch types. For instance, a writer might keep a writing journal and then switch to a dream journal or personal journal to work out emotional issues.

Here are some ideas:

  • Dream Journal. A dream journal is just that. You try to record your dreams or first thoughts when you wake up. Many people find this exercise helpful to work out issues they might be anxious over or subconsciously concerned with.
  • Stream of Consciousness. Stream of consciousness writing is when you write whatever comes out. It doesn’t need to follow grammatical rules or even make logical sense. This type of exercise can help you spitball ideas and give you little nuggets to expand on in your regular life.
  • Organizational Journal. This can take a few different forms. You might journal your “to do” list every day to keep you on track. You might use it to organize your thoughts about running your home or your business or managing your family.
  • Health Journal. This type of journal might track your progress with an illness and treatment. You might also use this type of journal to track your exercise journey.
  • Food Journal. A lot of people use food journals to help them with their diet. This might be a good tool for someone who cooks as well. It can be a way to keep track of new creations, recipes you want to try, and any information you want to remember about food.
  • Writing Journal. Writing journals evolve over time and often have something to do with the type of writing you’re doing. Great writers often keep journals that coincide with their work. For instance, John Steinbeck’s Working Days is the journal he kept during the creation of the book, The Grapes of Wrath.

Creative Ideas for Your Journal

How to journal daily
Journaling improves your mental and emotional well-being

Journaling doesn’t just have to be about the words. A lot of writers and artists also use their journals to compile images. This might include doodling or sketching in notebooks.

Another thought about your journal is in the way it looks. Some people don’t really care. They can use a regular spiral notebook because the act of journaling is really about the thoughts written on the page. For others, though, finding ways to add your personal flair to the look of the journal can be an uplifting exercise as well.

Journals also don’t necessarily need to be handwritten. That’s a good model of doing things if you want to jot down dreams or ideas on the fly. There are also people who like the act of slowing down enough to handwrite a journal. It feels more personal to them.

You need to choose the method that works best for you. If you’re more comfortable using the note feature on your phone or keeping a file on your computer, that’s up to you. Blogs are actually journals. You can keep a blog and make it public or private as your journaling process.

The Final Word on How to Journal Daily

We know that journaling can improve your mental and emotional health. It helps you reduce anxiety. Journaling can help you organize thoughts or make physical improvements to your health.

With all these great benefits, journaling is a fantastic boost for your life. So what’s stopping you from starting your journal today?