Image found here.
One of my new endeavours is to bump up and explore my creative side. I was the girl who was once deemed unteachable when my mother tried to share her infinite crafty wisdom and attempted to make a sewer, knitter, crocheter out of me; the girl who literally broke down and cried when attempting to assemble an IKEA bedroom set and the girl whose artistic career high point was a nude portrait I managed to craft up at a hen’s night… I’m planning on exploring more ways to develop myself creatively by writing more, dedicating more craft time within my clinic, playing around with DIY homewares, looking into local theatre groups and of course keeping up this blog that serves as a bit of a creative outlet for me too.
One of the best and most encouraged way to develop creativity is journaling. But if you’re anything like I was a few months back, you may not know how to journal, or what exactly journaling entails. Read on and you’ll find out how journaling is so much more than a ‘Dear Diary’ or secret blackbook of confessions.
Within a lot of the health and wellness literature, and in particular those discussing metaphysical and spiritual wellness, journaling crops up again and again as a recommended habit to weave into your daily ritual. But what exactly are the benefits of journaling I hear you ask? Well journaling has been shown to: reduce stress; boost immune system function; reduce blood pressure; reduce absenteeism from work (perhaps you corporate types can invest in pretty journals for all your worker bees?); reported better mood and wellbeing and improved memory. All from doodling and thought recording? Sign me up baby!
There are 5 main styles of journaling. These are stream of consciousness; thought provoking; illustrative discovery; reflective journalism and gratitude.
Stream of Consciousness: This is essential writing anything and everything you are feeling. No restrictions, no structure, no rules. This is fast, easy, free non stop pen to paper.
Thought Provoking: This style of journaling is a little more slow and thoughtful. It is generally suggested that you start with a certain subject matter (ie. a quote or topic) and then discuss it’s relevance in your life. This style is useful for goals, personal projects and accomplishments.
Illustrative Discovery: As it’s name suggests, this style of journaling has a completely visual basis. A collection of images., drawings, magazine clippings, ANYTHING that bears relevance to you and how you’re feeling.
Reflective Journalism: This is the most infamous style and adheres to the more typical ‘diary’ form of writing. It’s a way of recording your innermost personal thoughts. It’s believed to help you develop or uncover your beliefs and spirituality. You can utilise this style to record your dreams, moods, feelings or memories.
Gratitude: Ah, my kind of journal. This style utilises and encourages self reflection. It may prompt you to write 5 to 10 things you are grateful for; or you may choose ‘timed gratitude’ writing in which you list as many things as you can that you are grateful for in a 5minute timeframe; or you may choose to identify a single grateful experience. In the words of Captain Planet - the power is yours.
Throughout history there have been a number of discoveries of personal diaries or journals that are now highly regarded and famous within our society. These include: Anne Frank; Charles Darwin; Walt Whitman; Kurt Cobain; Thomas Jefferson; Leonardo Da Vinci; Ernest Hemingway; Marilyn Monroe and many many more.
From the journal of Albert Einstein
From the journal of Kurt Cobain
From the journal of Leondardo Da Vinci
From the journal of Marilyn Monroe
And because you know I love a good challenge – here it is my darlings…
For the next 5 days, spend 10minutes before bed trialling each of the journaling styles described above. Which one resonates with you? Which one do you struggle with? Are there any that you could see yourself continuing long term?
You might find that you uncover a particular affection for a certain style or that journaling sheds some light on something that you weren’t aware of before. Let me know how you go using the comments below*.
Blessings from my doodled journal x
*I know a few of you have expressed that leaving comments is difficult due to the google settings and this is something I’m hoping to rectify asap! I’ll be launching a facebook page shortly to help me connect with readers a little better so hang tight my chickadees. I’m dying to hear your thoughts and suggestions!