4 Journaling Methods That Promote Self-love And How To Use Them
Not sure how to begin writing your journal?
Though blogs have become the norm, journaling has been making a comeback like a long-lost friend. Surely you kept a sticker-covered notebook in your childhood where you jotted down your secrets, or perhaps the lock-and-key type that you hoped none of your family members would ever find. Apps may be more convenient to use, but there is still nothing like putting pen to paper .
Some may consider it old-fashioned, but journaling is more than just recording your memories -- it is also a safe place where you can reflect and find self-love.
Here, we list down methods and techniques you can incorporate into your journaling process for a more engaging and uplifting way to reflect.
T.L.C. (Thank, Learn and Connect)
The T.L.C. method represents three components – the things that you want to be thankful for, the learnings you have gained throughout the day, and the connections you have built with yourself or with other people.
Don’t know how to start? Here’s what might help you:
Think of a happening during the entire day that you are most grateful about and make sure that it is something specific rather than generic like ‘thank you for my family and friends.’
You might want to include an event that highlights your day, it can be either good or bad, why it went the way it did, and of course, why you should be thankful that it happened.
This part simply answers the question, what have you learned today? It may be hard to list something down as the pandemic limits face-to-face interactions with others, but this should not be a reason. If you don’t think so, maybe you are not trying enough to seek something out.
The best way is to find first some time to think. Once your mind is in peace and you are ready to reflect, start writing. Perhaps you can also explain how you will be able to use those learnings in life.
The last section can be represented in two different ways. One is to write down the things that you can connect to your existing knowledge and past experiences, and the other is about the person whom you’ve had a connection with and your takeaways from the conversation you both had.
The Five Whys
Since a journal is personal, it also reveals your relationship to yourself. Asking the question ‘Why?’ might lead to answers that can continually help you have a deeper self-understanding.
The Five Whys method is about breaking down your daily experiences and problems until you find a proper solution. You can also approach it using the cause-and-effect relationship structure, if applicable.
It is very simple: start by stating a problem that you have encountered within the day at the top of your journal’s page, then write the word ‘Why?’ and provide your honest answer.
Sometimes, it actually takes a couple of whys before you finally get to a satisfactory answer. Nonetheless, just repeat the process until you get five answered whys for each day.
The Core Values
Before a month starts, write three values that you want to incorporate and to focus on for the entire month. For example, the values you would like to keep upfront for the month of June are patience, openness and consistency.
However, that doesn’t end there! To make it even more meaningful, write a weekly journal entry on how you are incorporating those listed values to your days and how they benefited you along the way.
The Three Act Method
This method will sound familiar for people who are into reading novels or watching plays and movies, as it is divided into three sections similar to the structure of a story.
To visualize it clearly, begin by thinking of the most significant event you’ve encountered in a day or for a couple of days, and analyze it using this pattern below:
Act #1: Introduction
Like writing a story, following this method requires a brief introduction as well. Discuss how your day started, who you were with and where everything happened. You may also include the emotions that took place.
Act# 2: Conflict
This talks about the problems or the pivotal moments of your day and the choices you made. Is everything in a good place? Did it go the way you want it or not?
Act #3: Resolution
The last part entails how your day ends. Did you get to resolve any problems you encountered? What is your takeaway from the situation and how can you possibly learn and connect from it?
Starting a journal may feel like a responsibility that you need to incorporate into your everyday or weekly routine. However, once it turns into a habit, you’ll see how beneficial the practice is to realize the importance of introspection and the decisions you make.