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Your Coping Skills

TIP: How to Journal


​​​​Write about the things that will help you with making sense of your life. Remember, there is no right way to complete a journal. You may want to write more about your feelings, the events of your day or your goals for the future.  Whatever topic you choose, write with an open heart.

Get creative! Experiment with how and what you write. Again, there is no right way–only what fits for you.

  • Try making a Visual/Art Journal.  Some people will draw a picture or doodle as their only daily entry.  Others like to add art to their writing. Get out the markers, paint, photos, and stickers. You can even combine things like ticket stubs, or magazine pictures to make collages.
  • Favorite song lyrics, quotes, Bible verses can be used to inspire your entries. You may try composing your own poems or songs.
  • Use your journal to make lists, goals, or work out decisions.
  • Tell a story.
  • Allow yourself to vent/write out your strong feelings as a release and then shred them right away.  This will give you a chance to get your feelings out without harming anyone or making anyone feel bad.  However, while you are writing you may find that your feelings become less intense and easier to manage.
  • When your thoughts seem overwhelming to the point that you are not able to concentrate enough to write, just write a single sentence or word.  Trace the letters and doodle around them until your feelings calm down.
  • Try writing "un-mailed" letters (to express feelings) or as a way to communicate with others by reading it to them.
  • Write as if you are having a conversation with the journal itself, or with another person.
  • Write out your thoughts in cursive, or with your non-dominant hand.  While the analytical side of your brain is busy thinking about the proper way to write the letters, your creative side is free to come up with all sorts of ideas and dreams.

However you decide to journal, make it fun.  This is not an assignment, rather something that you "get to do."  You may discover things that you never would have known, if you hadn't taken the time to reflect on your experiences and beliefs.

And whether you decide to review your entries as you go or opt to do it later, take the time to go back and re-read your journal occasionally to see your progress.

To get started, find a notebook or app that you like.  Decide on the time of when journaling would be most optimal for you.  Then just start writing.  Let your feelings go.  Stick with it! 

For more ideas on what to write about see our 88 Journal Topics.

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