What is a Journal?
A journal is a written record of your experiences, observations, feelings, and philosophies of life. Unlike a Diary, which is typically designed to capture your daily events in a reactive manner, journaling is much broader in the sense that it can be used for overcoming traumatic experiences. With freestyle journaling, there are no rules and no English teachers marking up your paper with red. You can freely express yourself on a variety of topics, including marriage, relationships, work, goals, money, politics, and religion. Nothing is out of bounds with journaling.
Many people turn to journal prompts as a means of providing structure to their daily journals. Prompting can be very effective when used correctly. It can be liberating in the sense that you let your mind roam freely as you express your thoughts on a question like: “Where are your happiest? Describe that place.” It can also be overwhelming if the question is too broad, such as: “What would you change about yourself or your life? Is there a way for you to change it?”
Much like other areas of our lives – if it feels overwhelming, we often abandon it as a positive habit. At JournalOwl, we believe that stacking journal prompts over a period of 21 days can provide individuals with the momentum necessary to overcome challenging obstacles. For instance, if you’re like most people, you have a list of areas that you would like to change in your life. Asking an open-ended question to yourself without a clear understanding of the specific obstacle you are attempting to overcome may very well create anxiety and have the opposite effect.
But what if you had a goal in mind at the onset of your trek into journaling like “I want to quit emotionally eating from the stress associated with this global pandemic.” Now that’s a very specific outcome that you’re dead set on achieving, but you haven’t quite figured out how to face the inner demons that keep leading you to the pantry for another tablespoon of peanut butter after you watch the latest news clips on YouTube.
At JournalOwl, we provide specific journaling challenges for you to stay focused on a specific outcome. As an example, our emotional eating journaling challenge prompts you daily to explore why you cannot reign in your ability to set down the fork, or close that bag of potato chips when times get tough. It takes more than willpower to overcome habitual patterns that negatively impact your health. Our Journalers answer a few questions about themselves, then enter a 21-day period of transformation in the path of their choosing. Upon successful completion of the 21-day period, our Journalers have literally written a book about themselves on a specific topic.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Beyond JournalOwl’s unique approach to journal challenges with a specific outcome in mind, there are many other types of journals that you can maintain with JournalOwl including:
- A gratitude journal to track what you are grateful for daily. Darkness cannot live where there is gratitude. Gratitude journals can help overcome anxiety and depression.
- A bible journal to express your feelings and thoughts about scripture. You can invite your Bible study friends to compare notes and collaborate online after your Bible study meetings.
- A reflective journal can help you think back on specific moments in your life. Did you lose a job for one reason or another? Perhaps a reflective journaling period is necessary to make peace with the situation and move on freely to your next career move.
- A dream journal to analyze and discuss your dreams with a trained therapist.
- A food journal to understand and analyze your daily eating patterns. A food journal can also help you identify specific foods that lead to good moods, bad moods, or clarity of thought. By tracking and analyzing your daily intake of food, you can correlate it to your mental health.
- A blood pressure journal to understand the peaks and valleys of your quest to overcome hypertension. You can also use other health journals to track your progress in overcoming a specific ailment, such as a bladder diary.
- A therapeutic journal is often used by coaches and therapists to help individuals overcome habitual negative thought patterns. Prompting can also be used by your coach to address specific phobias or fears.
Another clear benefit of journaling is to improve your writing. If you aspire to captivate readers across the world someday with your in-depth blog articles, then journaling can help to sharpen your writing voice. We all have a distinct style of delivery with writing. Journaling gives you the privacy to unleash without fear of judgement from others. And, finally, you can freestyle journal – that is without a specific outcome. Freestyle journaling allows your mind to roam, often sparking the best ideas for your business, for your life, and for your future.
JournalOwl is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptoms or conditions. JournalOwl is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice. You should never disregard professional psychological or medical advice, or delay in seeking treatment, based on anything you read on JournalOwl’s website or platform.