How to Journal - Your Journaling 101

"Journaling can be much more than a pragmatic outlet for negative emotions and a means to self-discovery. How to Journal is designed to help you establish your own writing routine so that you too can discover the benefits of writing for yourself. Because journaling is a form of self-expression that can inspire and empower people to see, understand and ultimately find ease in complex emotions. 


How to Journal - What is effective journaling?

The difference to the diary is that in journaling we focus on the important and positive things. It is not about reproducing the external events one to one and possibly focusing on the negative events of the day.

In journaling you consciously deal with your inner being, your thoughts and your feelings and put them on paper.

Many studies show that this is not just a waste of paper:

How to Journal - Just a few of the benefits of writing:


How to Journal - Your Journaling 101

Journaling creates clarity. Use your writing to find more peace in your thoughts.



  • Mindfulness: Journaling moves the mind from passivity to active engagement with thoughts and helps us be mindful in the present moment (Robinson, 2017; Happier Human, 2012).
  • Emotional intelligenceThrough writing and active reflection, the ability to perceive and experience emotions is trained. This enables empathy and openness not only for oneself, but also for one's fellow human beings.
    • It can make us more aware (and more self-confident!) and help us to recognize devious, unhealthy patterns in our thoughts and behavior.
    • It enables us to gain more control over our lives and put things in perspective.
    • It can also help us to move from a negative to a more positive way of thinking, especially about ourselves (Robinson, 2017).
  • Strengthening of self-discipline and memory
    • Working memory function can be improved through regular journaling (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005).
    • It requires the application of the analytical, rational left side of the brain; while the left hemisphere is busy, the right hemisphere (the creative, sensitive side) has the freedom to wander and play (Grothaus, 2015).
  • Mental healthExpressive writing is a way of healing by translating experiences and lessons learned into language, thus allowing the intangible to be grasped a little more.
    • Reduction of the symptoms of depression
    • Reduction of intrusion and avoidance symptoms after trauma (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005).

Writing as a ritual - take the time to focus your thoughts


I personally have been writing down my thoughts and feelings every morning for almost 10 years and consciously take the time to start each day with this fixed ritual in a focused way.

So I have learned to consciously direct my inner world in my desired direction. I let it work for me instead of against me. This is the important and decisive difference that gives each day a whole new energy and thus also changes my perspective on the outside world. For me, journaling is one of the most powerful tools for personal development.

The magic of journalism is that it gives you a kind of bird's eye view of your life, allowing you to look into your soul and connect with your innermost self. Completely free and unadulterated, journaling creates a space for dialogue with yourself. A time just with you, in which you will find more and more to your own truth by asking the right questions and "feeling" for it.


How to Journal - How you can make journaling your ritual


How to Journal - Your Journaling 101

Create your space of well-being in which you can surrender to the flow of your words.



It's like my yoga in the morning for my head and before I start writing, I sit down, have my coffee ready next to the booklet, close my eyes, take a few breaths and start focusing on the here and now.

Of course, it took me some time in the beginning to integrate writing as a habit into my everyday life and to find my best routine for me. This changes again and again depending on the circumstances of my life or the place where I am at the moment.
In addition, there are now also countless methods and variants of journalism.

In order for this new routine to establish itself in your day, I share with you my personal journaling tips, with which you too can easily make journaling a permanent habit in your life


How to Journal - Methods and procedures


I recommend that you keep your booklet handwritten. Away from the phone, away from the screen. This way you have no distraction and at the same time you train your motor skills while writing.

Choose a nice notebook for yourself and if you have problems to write, there are journals already prepared with questions and suggestions, like the 6-Minutes-Diary.


  1. Create your feel-good space

Create a nice atmosphere, so that you have a cosy atmosphere and connect the journaling with something positive.
Maybe you'll have a cup of tea on the side, listen to inspiring music, light a few candles and snuggle up in your favourite blanket or enjoy writing in nature. I often sit down at the Isar and listen to the water.


  1. WRITE

The acronym hits it very well and I always orientate myself by it


What would you like to write about? Think about what is going on in your life, what you are currently thinking and feeling, what you are striving for or trying to avoid


Take a moment to be still, calm your breath and concentrate. Try starting sentences with "I" statements like "I feel...", "I want..." and "I think...". Keep it in the present with "Today...", "In the moment..." or "In this moment...".


Examine your thoughts and feelings through your writing. Just keep going! If you feel that you are running out of things to write or that your thoughts are starting to wander, take a moment to refocus (another opportunity for mindfulness meditation), read it again and then decide if there is anything to add.

  • T - TIME / TIME

Take a certain time window and stick to it. This framework supports the routine.

  • E - END

End strategically and with introspection. Reread what you have written and take a moment to think about it.


  1. Solution oriented questions

We all know this: We are faced with a "problem" for which we would like to have a solution or an answer. If we think about it, we are often led by emotions and only see the "problem". To solve it, however, it is important that we focus on the solution instead of the "problem". But how and what is the solution? A great, very powerful tool for this, which has often helped me, is the
"How-to" technique. The how-do-you-do question technique works very simply.

The question you can ask yourself for this:

How have I handled a similar problem so far? How do I manage...xy


  1. Determine status quo

We are used to setting goals for ourselves. This is nothing new. And when we have reached these goals, the next goals are usually already on the agenda. I'm sure you know what that means, don't you? We often forget to pause and acknowledge our successes and consciously perceive them. This leads to the fact that we are constantly in a shortage.

The question you can ask yourself for this:

What have I achieved today? What am I proud of?


  1. Gratitude

How to Journal - Your Journaling 101

I am thankful for all that is and all that is yet to come.



Gratitude is the key to a fulfilled and happy life. Therefore, make it your top priority to go into the feeling of gratitude every day. Be grateful for everything that has been, for everything that is and for everything that may come. Gratitude transforms your life and immediately shifts you from lack to abundance. In the energy field of abundance you will attract more abundance and even more of what you can be thankful for.

The question you can ask yourself for this:

What am I thankful for today?


  1. Intention

As already described with the goals, what you focus on will automatically
more. The clearer you are in your intention of what you would like to create in your life, the easier it will be for you to bring this out in your life. So every morning set yourself an intention for the day. Feel inside yourself how the day feels when you live this intention.

The question you can ask yourself for this:

What do I want to focus on today? Who do I want to be today?

In my journaling ritual I combine the above questions 3-6 with the WRITE strategy - you will surely find your best structure and approach for yourself over time.
The important thing is that you enjoy it and that it gives you your personal added value. So don't put yourself under pressure if it doesn't work out. As with all new habits, it can be difficult to keep them up at the beginning. If you can't manage to journalise, that's perfectly okay.

The nice thing is that in contact with our dear people in our lives we can sometimes take "journalism" and a bird's eye view through conversations.

Maybe the flow of speech works better on the days when the flow of writing is not there.

I wish you much joy and smooth writing

From the heart



Here you come to our timetable


All photos are by Susanne Schramke: https://susanneschramke.com

If you would like to embed your journaling in a morning routine, then you will find tips for your morning routine here - Start with a positive mindset 5 tips to establish a sustainable morning routine.

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