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A Simple Guide to Self Love Journaling

I love journals. I have a lot. All for different purposes. And I use all of them. Maybe not every day. But they are there when I need them, all serving me well, helping me organize, realize, think, feel, etc.

I started journaling when I was around 10 or 11. It was for a youth certification in my church. To pass off a requirement, I needed to journal every day for three months. And I completed that task, and then some. I kept writing, because I liked taking thoughts from my head and putting them on paper. There was something therapeutic about it, which I didn’t realize at the time, but in hindsight, that’s exactly how I felt.

As I’ve gotten older, I have kept journaling. And my journaling has taken different forms. But all of them serve the same purpose: Helping me recognize my beauty, strength, and ability, and teaching me to love me and my experiences, thoughts, and creativity. I believe that journaling can do the same for you.

Guide to self love journaling

My Simple Guide to Self Love Journaling

Journaling is not a new concept–it’s been around for thousands of years. It’s why we have histories as far back as we do, why we know about lands from far away, and why we have so much powerful knowledge to glean from in modern days.

But journaling may be a new idea to you. Maybe you’ve never tried it before. Or maybe you’ve tried a form of journaling that didn’t resonate with you.

I’m here to give you all the tips:

  1. How journaling can help you embrace love for yourself

  2. The many different types of journals to choose from

  3. The forms of journaling that might better resonate with you

Are you ready? Let’s go! (Cue the cheerleaders and marching band.)

How Journaling Can Help You Embrace Love for Yourself

I have four major points:

  1. There is something powerful about writing things down. When you put pen to paper, or even fingers to keyboard, you solidify your thoughts and impressions. You make them more concrete and organized. And when you look back on what you’ve written or created, you can see things from a different perspective, allowing you to better understand your thoughts and allowing you to better remember.

  2. What you put to paper, makes it more real and true. The other day as I finished writing my affirmations, I closed my journal and felt the truth of what I had written. Whatever you put in your journal, when you put it there, it creates truth. The act of bringing a thought into the world in any form, makes it a reality. This can go into manifesting, but we’ll save that for another day.

  3. Journaling helps you recognize your ability, strength, and beauty. Yes. It’s true. There are a few ways this happens. One is getting rid of all the negative thoughts to make space for the positive. Another, turning those negative thoughts into positive ones. Another, tracking your progress so you can later see your growth and progression. Another, creating affirmations and manifestations that help you achieve your goals. I can go on and on.

  4. Journaling helps you see your growth and progression, just like I mentioned in the above point. As you write or draw or video your journal entry, you can see progression from start to where you are now. It’s incredible, motivating, and inspiring.

The Many Different Types of Journals

Journaling does not have to be a daily record-keeping event, which can seem daunting to some. There are so many different types of journals, and you are sure to find one that makes the most sense to you, your needs, and your interests.

Affirmation Journal: This is one of my favorite journals because it helps me recognize my beauty, strength, and ability. An affirmation journal is meant to help you reprogram your thoughts so you see your good. An example of an affirmation you might put in your journal would be: I am a talented and successful creator. Or: I am divinely made to create, and my work comes to good. A pro-tip for writing grounding affirmations: Keep the voice active and in present tense, and use “I.”

Creative Journal: My creative journal is a writer’s journal, also known as a writer’s notebook. This is because my creative passion is writing. Your’s might be drawing or dancing or writing music. This journal is for all your creative ideas. If you write music, you may write lyrics or song notes. If you dance, you may create sequences or choreography. If you draw or do any kind of art, your notebook may be filled with just that–drawing and art.

Gratitude Journal: When I took health in college, I remember learning that a gratitude journal can help with mental health. And I truly believe it. A gratitude journal helps you recognize and focus on the positive things in your life. What you write in your journal doesn’t have to be long. It can be as simple as: “I am thankful for the sun.” Somedays are harder to find gratitude than others, and that’s okay. Just focus on the simple. And, if you feel so inclined, you don’t have to write, you can draw.

Fitness/Health Journal: This type of journal is great for tracking progression and recording mental thoughts to help you get through the days that are tougher to follow your health plan. A fitness/health journal can be as simple as recording your workout or food intake. It can also include recording your thoughts and feelings so you can better track your mental state and how your plan makes you feel.

Spiritual Journal: My spiritual journal is a scripture journal in which I record my thoughts, impressions, and learnings from my daily reading. But your spiritual journal can be anything that resonates with you spiritually. Maybe you study yoga philosophy and want to record your thoughts and impressions each day on how you follow the teachings of Patanjali. Or maybe you follow moon cycles or zodiac signs more closely. Whatever your spiritual path, you can come closer to it through a journal.

Daily Thoughts Journal: This can be a simple journal in which you write your daily thoughts. Maybe you carry it with you throughout the day and record things as they come to you–which I’ve always wanted to do but have never gotten into–or you wait until the end of the day and record those realizations and ruminations.

Observation Journal: This is similar to a daily thoughts journal, but requires you to look outside yourself and notice your surroundings. Have you ever played that game where you watch people and make up what they are up to or thinking? This could be a lot like that. Or maybe it’s as simple as noticing others in the act and recording your experience as you watch them. An observation journal can be great inspiration for later when you’re looking for creative ideas.

Record-Keeping Journal: And last, but not least, we come back to the classic record-keeping journal. This is a great memory-keeping journal for you to go back and re-experience moments in your life, or for you to share with family, friends, or posterity. It’s as simple as recording your daily, weekly, or monthly experiences–depending on how often you want to write. I’ll be honest, I have one of these, and I currently I write in it when I feel like I have something to share. It’s up to you, really, how you treat this journal.

Forms of Journaling

This is not to be confused with types of journals. What I mean by forms of journals is that not all journals have to be in essay form. I mean, just check out this list:

Words: Write, write, write. This is my usual form of journaling, but that’s because I love to write. The writing can be essay format, list format, word puzzles, poetry, whatever speaks to you.

Photos: Photos are a great way to tell a story and keep a record. Instead of a traditional written journal, if photography speaks to you, add photos to your journal.

Drawings/Art: Maybe you like to fill a notebook or web page up with art and drawings. For any of the types of journals listed in the section above, you can draw or paint instead of write.

Music: This is a great way to journal, especially if you’re more musically inclined or filled with musical creative passion. Write lyrics or music notes or production ideas.

Video: This is becoming a great way to journal, both publicly and privately. Document your life with video, or create journaling videos in which you talk in front of the camera.

Creative/Decorative: Have you seen these? Search bullet journal on Pinterest and you’ll see some great examples of this. Some decorative journals are like scrapbooking and take a lot of effort to create those beautiful pages. Maybe something hands-on like this speaks to you.

How to Get Started Journaling and the Right Tools to Use

The immediate answer is to just start. But maybe you’re not sure what tool to use. Here are a few options:

Online: If you’re into sharing your journal experience, you can start a blog, YouTube channel, or other social media account. Through these different options, you can also change your account settings to private, if you like the online option but aren’t ready to share.

Classic Notebook: This is my favorite form of journaling because I like to put pen to paper. My suggestion is to find a notebook that you will enjoy journaling in. Maybe you want one with lines or blank paper or with a grid. Maybe a pretty cover sounds inviting to you, or you like something more basic.

App: You can find plenty of notebook-type apps on your phone, computer, or tablet. Most devices come with a simple notebook app, but if you want something with more bells and whistles or options, you can find plenty of journaling apps, including the Jour: Daily Self Care Journal, Zinnia Journal & Planner, and Reflectly.

Last Tip: Journal in a Way that Works for You

Journalling is a very personal endeavor, and not something that you should do like everybody else. Your journal is your journal and should feel like it comes from you. That’s why there are so many different types and ways to journal.

I promise that no matter how you journal, you’ll see that it impacts your life in a positive way, helping you come closer to greater self love, and helping you recognize your ability, strength, and beauty.


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