Daily Journaling: The Magickal Benefits + How To Get Started

What is Journaling?

Journaling is a versatile and creative practice that provides you with a fantastic way to track your daily thoughts, explore your ideas and insights, and develop self-awareness, gratitude, and personal growth.
The beautiful thing about journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to keep a journal - it’s an intuitive habit that can be adapted to suit you and your needs, from one day to the next. 

In times of stress or uncertainty, journaling can provide a safe space for you to document and subsequently work through your worries and fears. The act of writing down the things that concern you enables you to release them, so that - over time - negative thoughts take up less space in your conscious and subconscious mind.

Gratitude journaling is another fantastic way to improve your mindset and mental wellbeing. By dedicating a set amount of time each day to journaling the things you are grateful for, you gradually retrain your mind to search for and focus on positive experiences and emotions, rather than indulging its default survival instinct, which is to seek out danger, or negativity.

If you’d like to incorporate journaling into your magickal practice, you could turn your journal into a powerful manifestation tool. Write down your goals, dreams and desires to enable you to create powerful visualisations of the life you’d like to live. Imagine the goal you’ve set for yourself has already been accomplished, and journal daily about how you feel and the life you are living as a result. In order to write these pages effectively, you will have to force your imagination and mindset to experience the joy and success you are seeking… which is a powerful way to manifest it into reality!

Journaling - How To Get Started

Getting started in journaling can seem daunting at first, but it needn’t be complicated. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five simple techniques you can start exploring today. Remember, there are absolutely no rules when it comes to journaling. You may initiate your practice using one journaling style, and then the next day use a totally different technique. It doesn’t matter - your journal is for your eyes only, and the whole point of journaling is the benefit you gain from the act of doing it each day, NOT what’s on each page.

Free Writing

Possibly the simplest of techniques to get started with, free writing really is as straightforward as its title suggests. All you’ll need is your journal, a pen, a timer… and an open mind! To begin, allocate yourself a set period of time (5 minutes is fine if it’s all you have) set your timer and… start writing! 

Do not apportion a single moment of your allotted time to thinking about your opening sentence, simply hit ‘start’ on your timer, position your pen over the page, and begin moving your hand. Allow your thoughts to appear on the page exactly as your messy stream of consciousness releases them… even if all you write to begin with is ‘I have no idea what to write..!’ 

The key to this is accepting that sometimes, you’ll write nothing but utter nonsense. You might feel silly… and you might not want to ever read it back. That’s all fine! Given time, free writing can become a fantastic way to uncover answers to questions you’ve been asking yourself, to unearth hidden worries, ideas or revelations you’ve not been aware of before, and even to make plans and life decisions you thought you’d never be able to tackle!

Gratitude Journaling

If you’d rather a more structured approach to journaling, then gratitude journaling might be your preferred technique to begin with. Once again, it’s as simple as it sounds - gratitude journaling is the act of writing down all the positive things in your life that you are grateful for. You can make this a short daily practice, or dedicate a slightly longer period of time to it once or twice a week. 

If you’d like to establish gratitude journaling as a habit, you could set yourself the task at the beginning of each day to list three things in your life that you are grateful for. It could be as elementary as having a warm bed, a fridge full of food, or a friend you appreciate. 

Alternatively, you could complete this task every evening before bed, and list three things from that day that you are grateful for. It might be that you woke up feeling refreshed, you enjoyed a delicious coffee, your child came out of school with a beaming smile, or you had a great meeting at work. As you get into the habit of gratitude journaling, you’ll find it easier and easier to recall positive experiences from your day, as your brain becomes accustomed to looking out for and remembering them… which in turn helps grow your positive mindset!

Diary Writing

A familiar concept to many, diary writing can be a great way to start if you’re daunted by the other options. You could keep it simple by committing to just a line or two per day, recording that day’s notable event or activity. As time passes, you’ll likely find you have a lot more you’d like to record, and begin embellishing entries with your thoughts about how each day went, dreams you had, future plans you’re deciding upon, and more.

Remember that you are the main character in your journal; write in the first person and record anything and everything that feels important to you. If there are parts of your day you do not feel compelled to write about, simply leave them out - historical accuracy is not the goal. 

The beautiful thing about diary entries, is that they are not addressed to any recipient - no one will read them but you (unless you choose to share them) so you can be entirely honest as you record your thoughts, opinions and desires.

Manifestation Journaling

If you’re keen to embrace the power of journaling to help you achieve your goals, then manifestation journaling may be for you. You can use your journal to help develop your growth mindset, self-belief and proactivity, as well as to support visualisation and attraction.

Begin your journal by setting yourself goals and describing them. Explain why they are important to you, how you will measure your success, and how you’ll feel once you achieve them. You can then use your manifestation journal in two ways… 

1. Map your path forward. Explore the habits you’d like to build, the skills you’d like to learn, the kind of person you’d like to become in the next five years… and consider the actions you’d need to take now to set yourself on the path for success.

2. Visualise success. Use your journal to regularly document detailed visualisations of you already living the life you are striving for. For example, if your goal is to build a successful business that makes you wealthy, describe your typical day working in that business, or what you are spending your earnings on… are you taking regular holidays? What does your dream workspace look like? How do you spend your mornings? What does your home look like? Write your dream into reality.

Shadow Journaling

Shadow work can be a really powerful way to reconnect and realign with yourself. By using your journal as a tool to confront your shadow, you will be able to explore - freely and without judgement - any thoughts, feelings or issues that your subconscious mind might be harbouring. Below are some prompts that you can use to begin your own shadow work journey. Some of them you may find challenging - feel free to only tackle one prompt per journal entry, and take it at a pace you feel comfortable with - follow your instinct, and allow yourself to be guided to your own greatest good. 

  1. Do you accept yourself exactly as you are?

  2. What negative emotions do you avoid? What would happen if you allowed yourself to experience them?

  3. What is your biggest regret?

  4. When did you last forgive yourself, and what for?

  5. Are you holding onto people who do not deserve your time and effort? If so, why?

  6. Has your relationship with your family improved in adulthood, or worsened?

  7. Which behaviours do you find triggering in other people?

  8. What are your most prominent childhood memories?

  9. Are you misunderstood? If so, what do others fail to understand about you?

  10. Are you the real you when in the company of other people? Who is the real you?

Reflection, self awareness, healing and acceptance all lie on the other side of soulful shadow journaling. Understanding who you are empowers you to move forward positively, and ensure that self love is at the forefront of every decision you make for yourself, in the future.

With so many journaling methods to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and put off getting started. But remember - your journal is for nobody else’s eyes, but yours. There are no rules when it comes to journaling, only what feels right to you. The above is simply to inspire you… and if you see something that you’re excited to try, by all means grab a pen, and run with it..!

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